Sunday People


Walker cops flak for his Hull switch


JACK WALKER has only been back at Hull FC a few days, but is already getting wound-up by team-mates about his Hull KR history.

The exciting full-back played six games for Hull on loan from Leeds last year, famously scoring on debut in the Magic Weekend derby victory over fierce rivals Rovers.

But, after being discarded by Rhinos to Championsh­ip Bradford at the start of this year, he ironically finished the campaign with an impressive 10-game stint in KR colours.

Walker, 24, helped Rovers reach Super League’s semi-finals, scoring five tries, as he rediscover­ed the form which once made him one of its brightest young talents.

Many Rovers fans hoped he would secure a permanent deal, but nothing came – and instead he bagged a two-year contract with their huge foes.

After his first week of pre-season training, asked if he had got any stick, Walker admitted: “You know what, I have had quite a bit!

“Just sly little comments from some of the boys – red and white and all that jazz. But it’s not been too bad. And I came here first.

“I won’t say who’s been saying it. I’m not a snitch. Snitches get stitches!”

While Rovers have soared –they also reached Wembley, but Walker was cup-tied – FC slumped to 10th this season and are in dire need of a vastly improved 2024.

The ex-england Knights star is looking forward to aiding that and working under Aussie boss Tony Smith, who, of course, made the same big cross-city move last year.

He said: “I’m really hopeful for next season. The people that Tony has brought in, the size of the pack and Tony is such a good coach, too, so it’s exciting times.”

Walker will face a battle for a start, mind, given Aussie full-back Tex Hoy made that gig his own last time around.

But he insisted: “Tony’s just said fight for your role. Fight for that No.1 spot. I’m always going to put my best foot forward. It’s good to have such good competitio­n there with Tex and Davy (Litten).

“I’m still young. It feels like I’ve been around a while, but I’m still only 24 and still have things to learn. If I can pick up some things from them and they can do the same with me, that’s great.”

Walker did become the youngest-ever Super League Grand Final winner when he helped Leeds beat Castleford in 2017, aged just 18 years and 60 days.

He has endured some horrendous bad luck with serious injuries, but looks fully firing again now and ready to kickstart his career.

That short-team deal with

KR in June proved crucial and Walker addd: “It was massive.

I’m forever in debt to the Robins for giving me that opportunit­y to get back on the map.

“From being injured, being injured again, then going to Bradford and not really getting a sniff in Super League, they gave me a chance.

“To play in the business end of the season was great.

“Now I’m looking forward to going again with Hull.”

Jack Walker, (left) in Hull KR kit and (right) playing for Hull, is now fully fit again
JACK THE GLAD Jack Walker, (left) in Hull KR kit and (right) playing for Hull, is now fully fit again

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