Old man Walker keeps rolling on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Old man Walker keeps rolling on

28/01/2008 06:07:26 AM Comments (0)

On a night dominated by one ex-leaguey, Timana Tahu, Queensland coach Phil Mooney paid tribute to another, veteran Andrew Walker, who he says will be vital to the Reds' chances of bettering their 2007 Super 14 wooden spoon.

In a second-string trial line-up against NSW, who won 26-10 at Campbelltown Stadium, Mooney rated 34-year-old dual international Walker his best.

"The old man at the back I thought was our best player," he said.

"Walks is going to be really important for us.

"(His) versatility - he plays fullback, 10, can play winger. Just tactically he's got a great handle on the game.

"I think with the way the new laws are, a little bit more unstructured, we saw tonight he's still got a great eye for a gap."

The former St George, Sydney Roosters and Manly star, who was banned for cocaine use in 2004, played fullback on Saturday night and would have shone even more brightly if not for Tahu's stunning rugby debut.

"I had a bit of a chuckle when (Reds winger) Caleb (Brown) scored," Mooney said.

"It was Walks running against (NSW winger) Alfi Mafi, there's about a 15-year age difference there.

"The old dog did pretty well though."

Saturday night's trial was Mooney's first in charge as he seeks to take the wounded Reds from the cellar to the penthouse.

The 43-year-old, who took the Australian under-19s to the world championship in 2006, replaced Eddie Jones after the former Wallaby coach's ill-fated tenure bottomed out with a 92-3 loss to the Bulls.

The Reds back up on Thursday for a second trial against David Nucifora's Blues outfit at Ballymore, and Mooney said big names Berrick Barnes, Rodney Blake, Sam Cordingley, David Croft, Chris Latham and Hugh McMeniman would be considered for the match.

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