Manly's Dylan Walker and partner Alexandra Ivkovic leave Manly Court last Friday. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
Manly's Dylan Walker and partner Alexandra Ivkovic leave Manly Court last Friday. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Sea Eagles expecting Dylan Walker to lead the way

MANLY players are looking to Dylan Walker for on-field leadership as the injury-ravaged NRL club battles without key players.

Walker is expected to make his NRL season debut in Sunday's clash with Cronulla after being freed from the game's no-fault stand-down policy.

"It's massive for us considering how many injuries we've had, especially key senior players," teammate Curtis Sironen told reporters on Tuesday.

"Just having a bloke who's played as much footy as him is going to help us, just for a bit of leadership as well as how good a player he is.

"I think he'll be jumping out of his socks ready to get a game."

Sidelined for the opening nine games after being charged with two counts of domestic violence following an incident in December, Walker was acquitted of the charges in court last week.

Video from his arrest emerged on Monday.

Asked whether Walker had the backing of the Sea Eagles players, Sironen said: "Of course, 100 per cent.

"We're all really close mates. We spend a lot of time with him. Just seeing what he's gone through at home has been upsetting for everyone.

"You don't want to see anyone go through troubles like that.

"But that's life and he's gotten through it. I think him getting to come back and play is the first of him moving on and we're all really excited that he's back."

Walker's return comes as the Sea Eagles attempt to cope with a mounting injury toll that includes skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and star fullback Tom Trbojevic.

Prop Toafofoa Sipley was on Monday ruled out for the season with a knee injury, while centre Moses Suli will miss up to six weeks with a fractured finger.

Walker, a former NSW and Kangaroos representative, could replace Suli in the centres or slot into the halves alongside Kane Elgey.

"Walks is one of our leaders. He's probably played the second or third most games of anyone here at the club. We're a pretty young team," Sironen said.

"At video sessions out at training, he's a real leader. He has a voice and he's helped a lot of the younger guys who have been playing NRL. I think he's going to be real good."

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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