Jack Walker: The Qualifiers is a learning curve for me

Drew Darbyshire

Leeds star Jack Walker said The Qualifiers is a valuable lesson for him compared to his heights of last year.

The England Knights representative played in the Rhinos’ Super League Grand Final victory at Old Trafford last year after making just a handful of first-team appearances.

But he has found himself in a different position this year, with Leeds having to compete in The Qualifiers rather than the Super 8s. He thinks it will stand him in good stead in the long run though.

He told loverugbyleague.com: “It is a massive learning curve for me, last year I was in a winning culture and I got to win the Grand Final, but this year is totally different.

“We are in the Middle 8s now and it is a massive learning curve for me. The pressure of the game (against Widnes on Sunday) was really difficult but we just had to grind the win out.

“The win at Widnes is massive for us. It was a really intense game and I thought every single one of us dug deep and worked really hard for each other throughout the game.

“I think if we beat Salford this weekend that we are guaranteed safety, so it is a big game for us and I think from a performance like the one at Widnes will really help us going into that game.”

It was announced on Saturday that David Furner will become Leeds’ new head coach from next season.

But Walker insists the team aren’t looking too far ahead at the minute, he added: “To be fair, I don’t even know if people are talking about it.

“Our main focus is these Middle 8s and just getting safe really, but it’s great to have him on board.”