With a rare week off from Super League action academy graduate Lucas Walshaw is working extra hard on improving his fitness after a superb start to life in Richard Agar’s first team.
The 19-year-old has played in seven league games and one Challenge Cup tie while impressing the Trinity faithful with his excellent defensive work and strong running with the ball in hand.
The second-rower actually broke into the Wildcats team as a centre and made his debut against the Rhinos in 2011 but Agar has helped mould the 6ft 5in youngster into a back-rower. Walshaw has since expressed his delight at his move into the forward pack where he has played in all of his eight appearances this year.
The former Dewsbury Celtic player has high ambitions for the future and he explains he is using the ‘week off’ wisely.
“I’ve been in training with a few of the other lads with Clogger (Martin Clawson) doing some extra fitness and gym work, we just finished off cannon ball hill now and it was very tiring.
“It is all extra fitness for me and I know it will all benefit me in the end anyway due to the fact although I am getting games at the minute I’m not getting much game time. With the energy levels that I burn up doing this extra fitness is a good thing to do,” said Walshaw.
With a number of players having extra time off to recover from the gruelling fixture list Walshaw has had time to reflect on the defeat to Wigan and has being assessing the step up from playing reserve grade to Super League.
“I’ve being finding it tough compared to the 20’s and it is such a massive step up to the first team and to the Super League standard.
“I’ve been really enjoying starting games but that 20 minute stint at the start has been tough, I’ve been running on nervous energy because I’ve been playing big teams with big named players so I do burn up a lot of nervous energy. I only do a certain amount of time before I get taken off and I want to be able to stay out there for longer.”
Wildcats number 33 has only featured in fixtures against the top eight sides in the league table, which could be classed as a baptism of fire but that is something the fleet footed forward relishes.
“Playing against some of the top players and playing against the top eight is absolutely brilliant. I would like to think I am becoming an established first team player but you never know, I am working hard to improve myself.
“I think my main attribute is my defence and I am alright with the ball but I’d say my key point is in defence. I need to learn about my timing onto the ball and I am doing that with Rich Agar now so I am getting there.
“It is mostly just about the power and commitment that you do when you get the ball, mostly leg driving that you need to carry on with but it is a learning process and I will get better as I go along.
“I’ve had eight games and I’m 19-years-old so it’s a big bonus playing as many games as I have this season so I am happy with that. I want to play in as many games as I can get under my belt until the end of the season, that would do me.”
Walshaw’s progression has even seen him picked ahead of first team regulars such as Frankie Mariano while the academy product has paid tribute to fellow second-rower Ali Lauitiiti.
“Frankie has got a heap of experience behind him and to be picked ahead of him and to play alongside Ali Lauitiiti is a massive accolade for myself.
“I’d like to say that Ali is the best ever Super League import and he is a nice lad too. If you do something wrong he is always the one to tell me how to do it better, how to improve little things. It is great to have a lad in the team like that to show the young lads what to do and what to improve if you are in their position.”
With just seven rounds remaining in Super League the August showdown with Castleford Tigers is bound to be one at the forefront of the Wildcats supporters minds and that is no different for Walshaw. The derby day clash is just one day after his 20th birthday and it is clear what will be his best way to celebrate.
“It would be a great birthday present to play against Castleford and get a win, it would be a very nice weekend if that all happened.”
Walshaw is a fine example of what Club 1873 can produce with all money being raised through the lottery going direct into the Wildcats well renowned academy structure.
For just £2 a week each Club 1873 member is entered into a draw with a guaranteed winner of the £250 jackpot every Sunday, daily prizes are also up for grabs while every six months a mega draw of £2,000 is won at random.
To join up to Club 1873 and help secure the future of Trinity’s rising young starts contact Lianne Orrell on 01924 211611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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