Ex-St Helens and Bradford Bulls forward joins new Championship club

SWINTON LIONS have announced the signing of Wales international forward Anthony Walker on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Championship rivals Widnes Vikings.

Wales, a former Super League player with St Helens and Wakefield Trinity, joined Widnes ahead of the 2023 season from Bradford Bulls, making 35 appearances.

Walker had already agreed to join Swinton from next season but the Vikings have allowed him to make the move earlier than planned.

Widnes coach Allan Coleman explained: “Anthony came to me and told me he had an opportunity for the next two seasons but they wanted him immediately, so I felt it was only fair we allowed this to happen.

“It’s important we are a club that respects players and then players respect us as a club.”

Walker, who has played twelve times for Wales, said: “I’m buzzing to be joining Swinton. 

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the second half of the season and a further two years after that.

“I’ve played with a number of the lads before both at Wales and other clubs and they are a great group of lads who all want the same thing. 

“After speaking to Killer (Swinton coach Alan Kilshaw) and having worked with him before, he has a vision for the club that I want to be part of.”

Kilshaw, who previously coached Walker during a loan spell at Rochdale Hornets, added: “He is a really good player at this level with a history of playing in good teams. 

“He is definitely a coup for us, he was keen to come and join the Lions, and we’re delighted to have secured his services. 

“He brings plenty of size as a prop forward and will go well.”

Walker could make his debut for Swinton, who are currently third-bottom in the Championship, when they play Doncaster at Featherstone’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

However he will not be allowed to play the following weekend, when the Lions host Widnes, as part of the deal between the two clubs.

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