Whitehaven sign Australian prop with experience of playing in UK: ‘He’s a player we’ve looked at for a while’

Drew Darbyshire
The Ortus REC Whitehaven Alamy

The Ortus REC, home of Whitehaven Rugby League club - Alamy

Whitehaven have signed former Keighley Cougars and West Wales Raiders prop Dalton Desmond-Walker, with the Australian signing a two-year contract.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to the British game, having made 58 appearances for West Wales and Keighley between 2018 and 2022.

Desmond-Walker had also signed for Bradford Bulls ahead of the 2023 campaign but decided to return to his Australian homeland before the season started.

The 6ft 4in front-rower, who weighs in at 104kg, becomes Jonty Gorley’s 23rd squad member ahead of the 2024 Championship campaign.

Desmond-Walker will link up with his new Haven team-mates when he arrives in Cumbria in a couple of weeks after signing a deal until the end of the 2025 season.

Whitehaven coach Jonty Gorley ‘delighted’ to welcome Dalton Desmond-Walker to Cumbria

Haven boss Gorley says he is pleased to secure the services of Desmond-Walker, who has been plying his trade in France in recent months.

Gorley said: I’m delighted to welcome Dalton to the club, he’s a player we’ve looked at for a while.

“He’s a big thing at 6ft 4in and 104kg and gives us that size that I’ve been looking for.

“Dalton has previous experience of the UK, playing for West Wales and he was part of the Keighley squad that won League 1 and had a stint with Bradford. He’s an aggressive fella, I remember him being sent off for West Wales against Haven at the Rec.

“I’m looking forward to Dalton getting here, he should be here in about three weeks, (just) waiting (on) his visa.

“He’s been keeping himself fit playing in France, so he should be up to speed when he gets here.”

Whitehaven have locked in two pre-season friendlies ahead of the new Championship season getting underway.

They travel to the DCBL Stadium to face Widnes Vikings in Jack Owens’ testimonial on January 14 before playing rivals Workington Town in the annual Ike Southward Memorial Trophy fixture on January 21 at the Fibrus Community Stadium in Workington.

READ NEXT: Barrow Raiders lock in 2024 squad numbers: 10 new recruits receive shirts with 23 jerseys handed out