Off-contract Roosters halfback Sam Walker says he has no doubt an announcement about an extension at the club will be made sooner than later, praising coach Trent Robinson for allowing him to play the free-flowing style of footy that suits him.
Walker's unconstrained long-passing game and will-o'-the-wisp running game have been causing havoc for defensive lines in his four NRL games so far with match-winning performances against the Sharks and Dragons on the board already.
He is hoping to produce plenty more of exactly that in his time at Bondi and is hopeful of putting pen to paper as soon as this week.
"I've told the club, I've been really clear: I love this place," Walker said.
"I love the ability to be able to play my footy. The club allows me to do that and Robbo gives me confidence to be able to go out on to the field and play my style of football.
"I'm not pinned down to one side, I'm not made into a robot at all, I'm able to play free-flowing footy and that's what I want to be able to do. I want to be able to go out on the field and have fun. That's what this club allows for me.
Every try from Round 7
"What this club allows me to be able to do on the footy field, that's what I want to do and that's how I have my most amount of fun, that's how I get my enjoyment – I love playing footy and that's what I want to do and at this club I'm allowed to do that my way."
Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said the rest of the group was invigorated by Walker's sheer enjoyment of the game.
"It's good to see Sammy Walker throw the ball around and back himself and go and score some tries," Waerea-Hargreaves told NRL.com.
"We don't want to harness Sammy too much because that's why he's here, to play the style of footy he needs to play and wants to play.
"I just really enjoy seeing the joy it gets out of everyone else as well, seeing this young 18-year-old run around, bounce around and step and kick and just seeing us older boys vibe off that, it brings a lot of joy to us as well."
Listed as 78 kilograms in his club profile, 18-year-old Walker is one of the smallest players in the NRL and has been a target for opposition ball-runners to some effect so far, but he laughed off the rough treatment as not only an expected but an enjoyable part of the sport.
"I think you see the skinny little white boy out on the field I think you know where to run!" he laughed.
The fundamentals of try-line defence
"Obviously you get used to it. You get it growing up, you prep all week and know you're going to get a knock throughout the game. For me it's a good thing, you know what they're going to do, you just have to step in front of them and make your tackles.
"To have someone like Brett Morris and Joey Manu outside me and obviously Sitili on the inside, he gives me great confidence to be able to stand in front of them and know they'll have my back.
"The way we recover here, your body feels pretty good after a day or two. You sort of just get used to it. That first game the body's not used to such a shock to the system but after three or four now I think my body's sort of getting used to being pretty bashed up."
The magic of Brisbane
Waerea-Hargreaves said it was the job of Walker's edge partners to help him out when he needed it – not that he seemed to need a whole lot of help.
"I think he's 74, 75 kilos of just bone!" JWH laughed.
"Honestly he's confident, he's doing what he needs to do and he knows he's got to keep improving like the rest of us.
"He's got a guy there, Sitili, doing a really good job defensively looking after him but he knows what he's got to do."
Walker said his job won't change much if skipper James Tedesco is unable to back up from a failed HIA this week but remained hopeful the fullback would line up against Newcastle on Saturday.
"We'll have a look and see where Teddy's at and if he is no good, whoever steps into that role will do the exact same thing, they'll know their job," Walker said.
"Nothing really changes for me or the team, we all know what we need to do and we all know if we execute our role the result will take care of itself."
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