Reds close to signing Walker



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QR Queensland Reds Head Coach Eddie Jones said today he hoped to finalise a playing contract with former Wallaby and dual international Andrew Walker by the end of this week.

Walker has been playing rugby in France with second division side Gaillac, but sought a release on compassionate grounds because his family is homesick.

Jones said although Walker had yet to be granted an official clearance, he and his family of wife Leona and four children were preparing to fly home in the next 24 hours.

‘He wants to come home and he wants to play with the Reds,’ said Jones.

‘It’s important to stress that we have yet to dot all the I’s and cross the T’s, including receiving the formal clearance from his club.

‘However we’re pretty close to finalising everything and Queensland Rugby hopes to be in a position to announce Andrew’s playing future for the next two years by this Friday.’

Walker joined Gaillac in September last year after serving out a two year ban for testing positive to cocaine while at NRL club Manly in 2004.

Jones, who coached Walker at Randwick in the early 1990s and later at the Brumbies before Walker embarked on his seven Test career with the Wallabies, said Walker was an extremely talented player who deserved the opportunity to redeem himself.

“Hes had his ups and downs but hes worked really hard to rehabilitate himself. He’s an exceptional footballer and he deserves another chance to do what he does best.”

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