Joint Championship Player of the Year Lachlan Walmsley believes he is at the best place to realise his dream of playing in Super League.
The Australian winger made the move from Halifax Panthers to Wakefield Trinity following the latter’s relegation at the end of last season, and now forms part of a new-look side at Belle Vue under new head coach Daryl Powell.
A change of ownership off the field has given Wakefield added impetus too, and they were boosted by their IMG score, recently published as part of the grading criteria assessment.
With work now complete on the new stand at Belle Vue, there is lots to be positive about as they eye promotion back up to Super League come the end of the upcoming season.
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Last season saw New South Wales native Walmsley score 38 tries in 31 appearances as Halifax missed out on the play-offs, though he was crowned the competition’s joint-best player, alongside London Broncos’ Dean Parata.
Add that to the 30 in 23 he scored for the Panthers in 2022 and the 16 in 23 for Whitehaven in his first season, and the speedster has scored an impressive 86 tries in 81 appearances in the British game.
In a Q&A in this month’s Rugby League World magazine, he said: “Just being at the club and being in a full-time environment has been unreal. We’ve got a pretty decent side, so hopefully we can get a few wins under the belt and actually win it.
“(New owner) Matt (Ellis) has invested a lot of time and money into the club. He’s doing everything he can to help us players perform at our best and feel at our best, so I’m sure he’ll be upset if we don’t perform.
“The IMG grading is there and can help push us back into Super League. I’ve had ambitions since I’ve come over to England to make it to Super League – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do – and I think this is going to be the best chance I get to do that.
“It was professional at Halifax and I enjoyed everything there, but at Wakefield that has stepped up to a whole new level.”
Walmsley soon developed a reputation after his arrival at Whitehaven for his flying finishes in the corner, and it attracted the attention of the Scotland national team, who he played for at the World Cup in 2022 through his heritage.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ made the move to Wakefield back in November on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee as part of a re-build that has also seen the arrival of England international winger Jermaine McGillvary from Huddersfield Giants and Iain Thornley from Super League champions Wigan Warriors amongst many others.