Walker signs new Leeds deal after U-turn

Jack Walker Warrington

Rising star Jack Walker has now signed the three-year contract he rejected at Leeds earlier in the season.

The 17-year-old previously turned down the offer because he wanted a secure long-term future at full-back.

However, he has backflipped on that decision and will be included in the Rhinos 25-man first-team squad for 2018.

“I know there has been a lot of speculation and I just wanted to make sure I was making the right call in committing for the next three-years,” Walker told the Rhinos website.

“I’m really happy things have been finalised and becoming a full-time player with my home town club and this group of players is a dream come true for me.”

Fellow Oulton Raiders junior Alex Sutcliffe has also signed a new deal that will keep him at Headingley until the end of the 2021 season.

Speaking on both news deals, Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “Alex and Jack are very talented young players who have come through our youth system. They have the potential to make their mark in the game. Alex has done well for our Under 19s this season and will have benefitted from his first team debut a fortnight ago. Jack has stated his commitment to the club and his desire to progress through to and into our First Team and he now has the opportunity.”

Head Coach Brian McDermott added: “As a club we have always stated our commitment to developing our youngsters both as players and, perhaps more importantly, as people as well. Alex and Jack have both been involved in the first team this season and have seen first-hand the hard work, commitment and dedication it takes to succeed at the very top of the game. They are both setting out on their professional journey and the opportunity is there for them to follow in the footsteps of the many Academy graduates who have gone on to be Champions at this club. The common factor between all academy players who progress into regular first-team players is that they share a comment trait based on the philosophy of ‘what can I do for the club’ rather than ‘what can the club do for me’. The challenge for all young players is to grab that chance with both hands and do everything possible to be part of that elite group and hopefully Jack and Alex can do that now.”