Rabbitohs and Australian centre Dylan Walker played a supreme 40 minutes of football last weekend for the Kangaroos in defence. Will he get the chance to show what he can do with the ball-in-hand this Sunday against England?
Walker made 11 tackles and missed zero in the first half last Saturday against New Zealand, shutting down every opportunity for the Kiwis to score down the Australians’ right side in defence.
Walker’s defence earned great praise from ‘The King’ Wally Lewis, one of the Kangaroos’ greatest players of all time, just prior to the half time break when Walker led the charge to drive opposite number Shaun Kenny-Dowall into touch.
“That’s a couple of occasions we’ve seen Dylan Walker under pressure in the defence and boy has he responded well,” Lewis said in Channel 9’s commentary.
“He’s handled it quite comfortably for a man who’s stepping into the green and gold for the first time.”
In the second half, Walker was shifted to the unfamiliar position of fullback, replacing Rabbitohs and Australian team mate Greg Inglis who was unwell due to a virus that had affected a number of his team mates throughout the week’s preparations.
Last weekend we got to see ‘D-Walkz’s defensive prowess, but will we get to see him put the foot-to-the-floor in attack against the English in Melbourne on Sunday?
The Australians will be hoping so and will be looking for the 20-year-old flyer in attack, as he showed throughout 2014 that he is one of the key attacking weapons in the NRL at the moment.
All of the talk so far this week has been about the ability for Rabbitohs team mates, but English opponents, George Burgess and Thomas Burgess to steam roll the Australian forward pack to gain the ascendency and destroy the Australians’ hopes of qualifying for the Four Nations final.
But if the Australian forwards can hold their more fancied English opponents in the middle of the field, it will be up to players like Inglis and Walker to capitalise and accumulate the points on the scoreboard to take the green and gold men to victory, something which alluded the Kangaroos in the second half of last week’s defeat at the hands of the Kiwis.
Rabbitohs Members and supporters will be glued to their TVs if they are not in attendance at AAMI Park on Sunday, watching four of their best take to each other on the international stage. The match will be broadcast at 4pm on Sunday on the Nine Network. Please check your local guides for details.