Bradford Bulls have this evening secured the impressive signing of Jack Walker from West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos.
Walker, who spent the end of last season on loan at Hull FC, has signed a one-year deal at Odsal in a massive coup for the Championship outfit.
The news will come as a surprise to many as despite his well-documented injury problems, Walker was still expected to be part of the long-term vision at Headingley.
Instead the 23-year-old fullback will leave his boyhood club and link up with the Bulls, a move that Walker says was heavily influenced by Bradford head coach Mark Dunning.
“The club’s going in the right direction, and I want to be a part of that,” Walker told the club’s website. “It’s a great club to sign and when I’ve spoken to Mark (Dunning) it made my mind up, this is the club I want to play for.
“I’m looking forward to working with Mark, he wants to stamp his own culture on this club and with the players he’s bringing in, it caught my eye and made me want to be a part of this club.
“I’ve got plenty of Super League experience in my time at Leeds and Hull, so I believe I can bring that knowhow to Bradford and impress the fans with how I play, Mark wants to give me the freedom when I play.”
Walker also revealed that he hopes he can help take the club back to Super League after a number of years outside England’s top division.
“If I was to give a message to the fans, it would be that I can’t wait to get going and playing in front of the them, they’re some of the best around and I want to help in putting a smile on their faces and getting the club back into Super League, where this club belongs.”
Bradford will hope the signature of Walker will result in an improved season in 2023 after an underwhelming campaign last time out.
The Bulls won just 11 of their 27 matches in the Championship, eventually finishing ninth and an alarming 14 points behind sixth-placed York City Knights who occupied the final play-off place.