Prop Adam Walker will pull on a Saints’ shirt for the first time in Betfred Super League XXII and admits that playing for Scotland saved his career.
Walker, who moved to Langtree Park from relegated Hull KR on a two-year deal last month, made his debut for the Brave Hearts in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, which came after he had been released by Huddersfield Giants.
That year, the forward had spent time on loan at Barrow Raiders in the Championship and was subsequently not offered a new by the Giants.
Without a contract and with no offers on the table, an impressive World Cup campaign saw Walker earn a contract with Hull Kingston Rovers.
Fast forward to the present and Walker is now preparing to join St Helens following an impressive 2016 at Rovers whose fans vented their displeasure at the move by booing the prop on his quick return to the Lightstream Stadium in Scotland colours for the Four Nations clash against Australia on Friday night.
Walker, who produced a strong display, against the Kangaroos, insists he is indebted to Scotland for offering him a lifeline.
“Playing for Scotland saved my career,” he told TotalRL.
“In the first year I played for Scotland I got an injury and was out of contract, but off the back of playing I managed to pick up a contract, so every year I’m proud to put that jersey on and represent the country.
“It has given me a lot. It has given me experiences like this game against Australia, I’ve got to meet the lads and we’re a close bunch, the coach has
Still on the international scene, one young Saints player could be excused for thinking he is about to wake up and he had only been dreaming about his out of the blue call up for Wales.
Academy centre/second rower Ben Morris - still awaiting his Super League debut - was drafted into the Welsh squad at the 11-hour ahead their friendly fixture against Jamaica at Wakefield and impressed in a 16-16 draw.
But on Saturday the 19 -year-old former Blackbrook player went one better - scoring two of his country’s four tries in a 20-14 victory over Italy at the Stadio Brianteo di Monana and at the same time helping to clinch a place in the 2017 World Cup.
It now throws up the possibility of three of Saints up-and-coming youngsters being in Wales’ squad for next year’s global spectacular as both Regan Grace and Calvin Wellington missed the end-of-season internationals through injury.