Jack Walker reveals why he wasn’t selected by Rohan Smith at Leeds Rhinos

Jack Walker has an exciting new challenge ahead of him.

Once seen as the most exciting young fullback in Super League after becoming the youngest player to win a Grand Final in 2017, the then Leeds Rhinos fullback struggled with injuries.

This led to him leaving the club on loan to Hull FC in 2022 only for injury to strike once again. After all this, Walker has gone in search of a fresh start in 2023 signing a one year deal with the Bradford Bulls.

However, Walker has now revealed why Rohan Smith wasn’t selecting him and why it led to that initial loan move to Hull FC.

Speaking with his agent Craig Harrison on Show Me The Money Rugby League TV’s youtube channel, he said: “The reason I wasn’t getting selected at Leeds was my left hamstring wasn’t strong enough, that was the only reason I wasn’t in selection. I was training all the time, doing all my extras.

“Zak and Myler were playing really well, for a new coach coming in when you’re winning games and people are playing well you can’t really drop them so when the opportunity came up to play for Hull, he said he couldn’t promise me game time.”

On reflection, he wished the club had forced him to rest emulating what was done with NRL star Kaylan Ponga: “The year after the Grand Final, 2018, that was the only pre-season I’ve had. After that I’ve been injured every pre-season, I’ve never had a full pre-season since then. I’ve never had the chance to build my body up.

“If someone has that potential there, why not take him out for six months and build them up like they did with Ponga because it just reduces the injury time.

“When you’re in the moment, I wanted to play so if I’d have been told to just train for six months, because I played all those games at 17 and won the Grand Final, I just thought that was for me but now looking back it probably would have been best.”

He now has a new understanding of what needs to happen when coming back from injury: “Coming back early from injury is what I’ve done all my career and I know truly understand that I can’t come back early and that I need to be 100% when I go onto the field.”

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