‘Bring him home’: Leeds Rhinos fans want off-contract full-back to return to Headingley

Ben Olawumi
Jack Walker, Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR

Leeds Rhinos fans have called for the club to re-sign homegrown full-back Jack Walker, who will leave Hull KR at the end of 2023.

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at Headingley, and in 2017 was their first choice number one as they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford against Castleford Tigers.

Having slipped down the pecking order, after a brief loan at Hull FC, he eventually departed permanently for Championship outfit Bradford Bulls ahead of this year on a 12-month contract.

It took just a few months to get back to Super League, with Hull KR signing Walker in June on a deal until the end of the season.

And now, with Robins boss Willie Peters confirming he will not be at Craven Park in 2024, Leeds fans want him ‘home’.

In response to the news of Walker’s pending departure from KR, ‘Rhinos Faithful’ posted on Twitter: “Big shame…. Bring him home, gladly have him as back up to Miller, can play 6 too..”

One response to that tweet said: “Miller could be a good solution to our 6 issues with Walker at 1 and Myler/Sinfield as 7″

Another added: “He’s so fast I don’t think 6 is his position. He will score 20 tries playing full back”

Meanwhile, in a later tweet, ‘Rhinos Faithful’ continued: “Walker would occupy a home grown talent part of the squad too and adequate cover for 1,6/7.

“Leeds didn’t shut the door on him returning when he went to Bradford so it wouldn’t be a surprise to me.”

Leeds Rhinos in 2024

Leeds will be one of the club’s most active in recruitment ahead of next year, a promise delivered by CEO Gary Hetherington to supporters earlier this month.

Newcastle Knights full-back Lachie Miller has already been tied down alongside current Catalans Dragons forward Mickael Goudemand.

Both Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin will depart Headingley, while James Bentley – who was stretchered off in defeat to Huddersfield Giants last Sunday – is off-contract and has been heavily linked with a move away.

Highly-rated youngster Sam Walters has penned a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors, while winger Liam Tindall has rejected a contract extension and is expected to continue his playing career at a rival Super League club.

It leaves the Rhinos short on numbers heading into 2024, although head coach Rohan Smith has declared his trust and admiration for the next generation of talent pulling through the club.

Ireland international Richie Myler is expected to return to his original position in the halves upon Miller’s arrival, with Jack Sinfield also contracted long-term.

Having undergone heart surgery earlier this year after suffering a stroke during training, the future of Zane Tetevano is still unclear, with his current contract coming to an end.

Winger David Fusitu’a is expected to re-sign, while the club still have several quota spots remaining for next year.

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