This week we managed to catch scrum half Alex Walker and chat about the build up leading into a game versus his old club Ealing Trailfinders.
31 year old Walker is a very experienced rugby player boasting some very high profile clubs on his rugby CV. He began at Newport Gwent Dragons before representing Wales 7s for five years after representing their junior sides growing up. After training with Eastwood, who compete in Sydney’s elite competition the Shute Shield, he switched to Cardiff Blues whilst juggling Wales 7s commitments before settling at Vallis Way.
He joined the Trailfinders in 2014 and shortly after was given the role as captain as well as winning supporters player of the year for two consecutive seasons. Ealing supporters will remember Walker’s time at Vallis Way fondly.
Walker has now joined Dave Morris’s squad at the beginning of this season and is one of the part time players. Alex combines working as a teacher in a school with training and playing professionally, part of London Scottish’s new club vision moving forward.
“Everyone at Scottish was very welcoming when I arrived and I knew a number of the boys from either playing with or against them at some stage so that also helped.
It was a big shock initially. Having been a full-time rugby player for 13 years, going to work in a school full time and then having to go to the gym and rugby sessions in the evening is very tiring. I am getting used to it and Dave (Morris) has been very understanding of my commitments which has helped massively.”
Walker has hoped that teaching may be a vocation he can continue long after his rugby career has finished.
“That’s the plan, I am in my last year of my degree with the Open University and am aiming to complete my PGCE next year. I enjoy teaching and that’s something that’s important to me”
It is hard to miss how well Walker’s former side are faring this season, the Trailfinders have been on top form in league and cup and Walker is quick to acknowledge this fact but still sees a chink in their armour.
“Obviously Ealing are doing very well in the Greene King IPA Championship and also the B&I Cup but I do think we are capable of beating them. We will have to do our homework on them and make sure everyone knows their roles in the lead up to game. If everyone does that, I’m sure it will be a very exciting game.”
Walker may be hoping for an exciting game but he will definitely want a closer run game than the teams last meeting. The Scots were blown away earlier in the season 72-12 but Walker knows the side Ealing will face this weekend will be a very different entity.
“The form over the last few weeks has been great. We had a lot of new players, coaches and management so we were starting from scratch at the start of the season. People know their roles now and things are starting to gel nicely.”
Moving forward for the rest of the season, Walker holds similar hopes to most of his teammates in the squad. There was a general feeling of underachievement and disappointment after such an impressive victory against Yorkshire Carnegie on the opening day of the year. Now, Walker feels it is time to push on and start climbing the Championship ladder.
“We are mainly aiming for consistency. We have put in some good performances lately so we will continue to work hard in training and try climb higher in the league table and finish the season strong.”
Walker, as well as all his London Scottish teammates and supporters, will want a good performance this weekend at The Athletic Ground to show the Trailfinders that their last result was a fluke and something that belongs long in the past. Heading into the game on Saturday, we asked Walker if he will prepare any differently to face his former team.
“I used to have a bit of a routine that I would go through before any game. Things slightly change when you have a baby at home so as long as I’ve got my nutrition right and do a bit of mobility I’m good to go.”
This weekend’s clash between the two local London sides is one of the best ties of the round and Walker will be looking to play an instrumental role in the demise of his former side at the RAG. A win for Walker would be sweet against some familiar faces.
“There are still a lot of players that I know at Ealing so look forward to playing against them all. Alun Walker is always good fun to play against as I know he will always try one of his outrageous dummies throughout the game.”
Be sure to head down the Richmond Athletic Ground this weekend as London Scottish host Ealing Trailfinders at 3pm. Get your tickets HERE