Warrington favourites to sign Walker

Jack Walker Warrington

Warrington have emerged as clear favourites to sign Leeds youngster Jack Walker.

The 17-year-old rejected a three-year contract with the Rhinos earlier this week demanding a secure long-term future at full-back.

With Leeds handing current No 1 Ashton Golding a new four-year deal earlier in the season, Walker is keeping his options open with clubs circling around him.

Having scored five tries in six appearances this season, the rising star isn’t short of interest with Warrington a likely destination.

The Wolves current full-back Stefan Ratchford is nine years older than Golding, thus giving Walker a greater window of opportunity in the long-term at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Speaking on Walker’s decision to reject a future with the club, Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “We offered Jack a full-time contract two months ago when he completed his studies at Leeds City College.

“We revisited it again last week because the lack of a commitment from Jack was becoming an issue within the squad and also affecting our planning for the future.

“This is obviously disappointing for us and unusual too as I cannot think of any other player to turn down a promotion to the Rhinos first-team squad from our Academy during my time at the club.

“Several of our senior players have spoken with Jack and I have personally met with him, his girlfriend and family to discuss the matter.

“However, Jack has made it clear that he wishes to only be considered for one position and has requested assurances that are never given to any player, irrespective of age and ability.”

Despite turning down the club’s contract offer, Walker has been named in Brian McDermott’s 19-man squad for tonight’s Super League match against Wigan Warriors.