Centre Dylan Walker showed NSW what they will be missing in Origin III next Wednesday night with a superb performance for the Sea Eagles last night.
Walker played in the first two matches for the Blues in the series lost to Queensland and despite a strong game in Brisbane, was overlooked for the dead rubber in favour of Josh Dugan after the Dragons centre returned from injury.
At Brookvale Oval last night, Walker was a clear winner over Dugan on all fronts – scoring two tries, including a 90 metre try off an intercept pass from Dugan, and helping Manly to a 36-6 victory.
Walker said he wished Dugan well for the final match.
“Duges was the right centre to begin with (for NSW) and unfortunately for him he got injured,’’ Walker said.
“He’s a great player. He’ll do a great job for NSW. He’s been there for a long time and I wish him all the best.
“I definitely want to get back in the Origin arena. I just want to put my best foot forward now for Manly.”
Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett was full of praise for his centre, admitting he was ‘surprised’ at Walker’s dropping.
“I didn't think he was the catalyst for NSW losing that game (in Brisbane)," Barrett said
"I think he had a bit of a point to prove and Dylan will be better for his experience of the two games in the Origin side.
“He's only young, 21 or 22 years old, a lot of football in front of him and he'll be better for it.
“He's a confident kid Dylan, that's not going to knock him around too much. He'll get there again and I think he'll really be in probably a better position to handle it."
Walker will next step out for the Sea Eagles in the vital home match against the NZ Warriors in Perth on Saturday, July 16.
Tickets for Manly v Warriors in Perth: http://bit.ly/1Q6IIOV