New recruit Walton happy with display on Rovers debut

Jason Walton made his Featherstone debut against Hunslet last Sunday. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Jason Walton made his Featherstone debut against Hunslet last Sunday. Picture: Bob Nunn.

NEW signing Jason Walton has quickly settled in at Featherstone Rovers.

The 26-year-old former Salford and Wakefield centre or second-rower joined Rovers on an initial 12 month contract following the collapse of Bradford Bulls.

Walton signed for Bradford from Wakefield at the end of last season, but became a free-agent when the club ceased trading last week.

He made his Featherstone debut in the 52-6 pre-season win over Hunslet last Sunday.

The move happened quickly and Walton revealed he had been expecting to stay at Bulls right up until the club closed, but says he had to take up Rovers’ offer to secure his and his family’s future.

“I wasn’t speaking to anyone (other clubs) at all before we went into liquidation,” said Walton said.

“Everyone was positive at Bradford, they were all saying we were going to be all right.

“I thought I’d be staying there, this is the day before liquidation. It was really positive, then the day after that they got liquidated.

“I had to jump ship because I have to look after my family, I have got a mortgage.”

Walton trained with Bulls through November and on his own the following month when the players “went on strike” after the club entered administration.

He is confident he is up to speed with his fitness and was happy with his first match in blue and white.

“I only started at Rovers last Thursday,” he said.

“They have welcomed me really well and they are a good set of lads.

“I know a few of the lads from playing against them and I thought last Sunday’s game went well considering I’d only had two days’ training.”

Walton reckons Rovers can repeat what they did last season and secure a place in the middle-eights Qualifiers.

“With the squad we’ve got we can,” he said.

“It is one of the best I’ve seen in the Championship.

“I think we’ll do really well.”

Wakefield were Walton’s second shot at the big time following a spell with Salford. The ex-Batley man has 41 Super League appearances to his credit, but insisted: “I am 26 now and I just want to enjoy my rugby again.

“If I am really enjoying it here I am happy to stay.”