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Ex-St Helens & Wakefield Trinity prop opens up on heartbreaking medical development which ruled him out of 2017 World Cup

Ant Walker has had the privilege of representing some of the biggest rugby league clubs on the planet.

He started his career at St Helens, went to Wakefield in 2014 before spending the last two seasons at Bradford.

In 2023, Walker will follow his former Bradford coach John Kear to Widnes in 2023. So, some sizeable clubs with amazing history, but anyone will tell you that the pinnacle of any sport is playing in a World Cup and the prop knows what it is like to miss out on this opportunity for a heart breaking reason.

Walker was ready for the 2017 World Cup in Australia only for an out of the blue medical situation to deny him the chance.

He revealed all on BBC: “I got knocked out playing and couldn’t pass the head test so I had a head scan and they found something that I was born with on my brain called an AVM.

“It’s basically a blood clot on your brain. So I came out in shock, I didn’t ring my mum, my dad, my partner. I rang John straight away and I said, ‘Listen I can’t come to Aus.’

“It got lasered, it’s been a long three or four years to get to where I am to be picked is great.”

Now though Walker has the chance to play in a World Cup and will do under the aforementioned Kear and is hoping to defeat the Cook Islands tonight.

A brilliant story for a player who even had to retire from the game due to the brain illness but eventually got the all clear and is now back on the biggest stage.

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