Leeds secure Walker for five years

Leeds Rhinos have secured fullback Jack Walker’s future to the club with the 19-year-old signing a five-year deal to keep him at Headingley until the end of 2023.

After breaking into the first team in the Rhinos’ Grand Final-winning campaign in 2017, Walker has gone on to make the fullback role his own and feature internationally for the England Knights.

“We have been chatting about a new deal for a while and I am pleased we have come to an agreement now,” Walker said.

“We have got a great group of players coming through the club and even some of the senior players in the first team like Liam Sutcliffe and Ash Handley are still only young despite the amount of games they have already played.

“It is a great club and I am looking forward to the future. We have achieved some great things in the past and hopefully we can emulate that as a group.

“Kevin Sinfield has been great with me; he talks about us developing a winning mentality. It will take time as we build up game time together but, when we gel, I think we will be a formidable team in the years ahead. I played with a lot of these guys at academy level and that will make it special when things do click for us and we start winning some games.”

Only days after announcing club captain Kallum Watkins will leave the club at the end of the season, this news comes as a big boost for the Rhinos who are struggling at the wrong end of the table in 2019.

“Jack is one of the most exciting talents in our game and I am delighted he has committed his long-term future to the Rhinos,” said Rhinos Director of Rugby, Kevin Sinfield.

“The club have shown a great deal of faith in Jack throughout his time here and I am confident he can continue to develop and progress in the years ahead. We have an exciting crop of young players at the club, both in the first team set up and in the Academy ranks.

“The average age of the team at the Magic Weekend was just 24 with no player over 30 plus we also have eight members of the England Academy side that beat the Australian Schoolboys last December on our books, so the future is bright.”