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Lachlan Walmsley @ The Coalface

Kicking the footy around the local footy fields at Merriwa, Lachlan Walmsley never thought he would be playing in front of thousands of people at Wembley Stadium in the UK winning back-to-back 1895 cup trophies.

At 26 years old that’s exactly what he’s done.

Lachlan started kicking the football around when he was 4 years old at the footy fields at Merriwa. His first team was the under-10s at Scone and then he played for the Merriwa Magpies.

“I played one year with the Magpies and then went over to the Scone Thoroughbreds again and pretty much played the rest of my junior years there and then my first senior year when I was 17.

“I then played under-18s SG Ball for the Knights in Newcastle and then signed for the South Newcastle Lions and played two seasons with them.”

Lachlan said his goal was always to play football professionally and originally, he was hoping to play NRL first, then go overseas to England to play in the Super League and represent Australia or Scotland in the World Cup.

But, before he got a call from the NRL, there was a team overseas looking for a player.

“I did a competition with the Memorial Bears in Newcastle, and we won. One of the guys I played with said there was a team over in England looking for a fullback and I thought, well I have Scottish heritage, so I got a heritage visa and went over.

“I signed with Whitehaven for 12 months and had a pretty good year with them. I played for Scotland in the World Cup and then signed for Halifax for two years and made World Cup side again and in November last year I signed with Wakefield Trinity on a two-year deal.

“The World Cup was a great experience. We got absolutely flogged by Australia but to be able to say that you played against the best players in the world is quite an experience.

“I learnt a lot too which has helped me kick on with my career.”

Both the Halifax Panthers and Wakefield Trinity won the Rugby Football League 1895 Cup which is an annual rugby league knockout tournament for clubs in the RFL Championship. 2023 was the first time Halifax had won the 1895 Cup in 35 years.

Lachlan Walmsley @ The Coalface

There’s plenty of Australian and Kiwi talent in the UK, so Lachlan has felt at home.

“At Wakefield there are several imports on the side. Mason Lino, Calab Uele, Isaiah Vagana, Toby Boothroyd and Renouf Atoni. Last year I played with Jake Maizen at Halifax who is also from Newcastle.”

Lachlan said his goal is to continue playing in England, but if an NRL club back home was to approach him he’d seriously consider it.

He said even though he’s been away from home for a few years now, he still feels all of the love.

“It’s always nice that mates and community members from Merriwa and Scone send me congratulations and their best wishes.

“I love that people back at home are still keeping up to date and that gives me the extra push to do better and try to be the best player I can be and put the Upper Hunter on the map.

“My journey has been a lot different to others. Most players make the NRL and then come over here, but I did it the long way. I haven’t been able to play NRL yet, so I took the risk to come over here and make my way from the bottom up.

“Hopefully some kids back home get some inspiration out of it. You don’t have to go down the easy route, you can go down the longer route and still do awesome.”

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