OFTEN two full-backs will battle it out for the No 1 jersey at a club but Wakefield Trinity find themselves in the unusual position of having three doing so in 2020.
That, however, is only going to reap dividends for the side, according to Alex Walker, the latest custodian thrown into the mix at Belle Vue.
The gifted 24-year-old has arrived at Trinity following a brilliant season with London Broncos, where he has carved out a reputation as one of the best young full-backs around.
Versatile Ryan Hampshire had made that role his own at the West Yorkshire club and Max Jowitt, 22, is another player with plenty of talent in Chris Chester’s first-team squad.
But Walker – who scored six tries in 27 games for promoted London last term – has been handed squad number one and is expected to be given first chance to secure the position.
“It is nice to get it,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean anything. It is just a number. We’ve got three class full-backs here and I know I have to compete and work hard to try and get that starting role in the actual side.
It doesn’t mean anything. It is just a number. We’ve got three class full-backs here and I know I have to compete and work hard to try and get that starting role in the actual side.Alex Walker
“I think that’s only a good thing, though; we’re all learning from each other and developing each others’ games.
“There’s all things we need to work on and Rocky (Hampshire) and Max might be better than me at certain things and vice versa but we can all improve.
“I’ve settled in really well and all the boys have helped me get to know all the plays. It’s been really smooth.
“It’s the first time I’ve left home and I’ve moving in with my girlfriend, too, so it’s a big move for her as well coming up here.
“But we’re finding our feet and looking forward to it all.”
Walker hails from Hertfordshire and played more than 100 games for London. His debut was in their final Super League game before being relegated in 2014 and he helped them battle their way back to the elite.
London won 10 matches this year, a record number for a side that gets demoted, and they only went down after Wakefield, ironically, beat them on a dramatic final night of the season at Belle Vue.
Walker – who has helped Scotland qualify for the 2021 World Cup this autumn – earned plenty of plaudits and he added: “I got a taste of it (Super League) last season. Now I really want to push on and do my best and see how far I can go with it.
“It’s a great side at Wakefield. In Milky (Jacob Miller) and Danny Brough, we have really good half-backs who both control the game really well. I’m sure they’re going to create a lot of opportunities for us throughout the year and I’m looking forward to linking in with them.
“As for London, it’s a tough one. Everyone talks about how well we did as a team and we did but we cannot be happy with how it all ended. It was a really tough one to take. There’s so much great work going on at London and I do really hope they get back up here into Super League.”