New Saint Luke welcomes move

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NEW Saints signing Luke Walsh has told how he canvassed the opinion of ex-Saints ace David Fairleigh before signing on the dotted line.

The Penrith Panthers half-back, who agreed a two-year contract at Langtree Park last week, spoke to the former test prop, who played for Saints in 2001, to learn more about his time in the red vee.

Walsh said: “I know the history of the club there and I spoke to Dave Fairleigh too about what it was like. I know it is a strong club with a young team and, after speaking to Nathan Brown, it went from there. I felt excited about it.

“It was always in the back of my head to come over there and experience playing in Super League. Now I have a good opportunity.

“It will be tough at the start as my wife and young boy will need to settle in, but I’m sure it will be a good challenge.”

In his first interview since signing for Saints, Walsh described himself as an “old school half back” who will be tasked with guiding the team around the field via his kicking and running game.

“Hopefully the fans will enjoy that,” he added.

Walsh has put pen to paper on a two-year deal - starting in 2014 - which also includes an option for a one-year extension.

The 26-year-old made his first grade debut in 2007 and has since played more than 100 games in the NRL, for both Newcastle and Penrith, amassing nearly 300 points in the process.

He was also named the club’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2011.

In 10 games in the NRL this season, he has kicked 34 goals and a drop goal - making him one of the hottest players in the competition.

Saints head coach Nathan Brown described Walsh as an “exciting addition” to the squad.

He said: “Luke is a good organiser and possesses a great kicking game too.

“We are always looking to improve the team and I’m sure Luke will contribute to that. We are looking forward to having him on board.”