Walker makes strides at Quins
Teenage flyer Charlie Walker is out to show boss Conor O’Shea he is ready for the Harlequins first team – by producing the goods at next month’s JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s at the Stoop.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a successful 2012 so far, starring for England in the U20 Six Nations, being called up for the England Sevens squad for rounds in Hong Kong and Japan, and gaining valuable experience on loan at Esher in the Championship.
But he has made just two substitute appearances for Quins – one in the 42-6 Premiership win over Gloucester in September and another in the 19-9 LV= Cup defeat to Leicester Tigers – something he plans to change next season, starting with the Premiership Sevens.
“You’re much more in the limelight in sevens which is really good to put yourself forward and put your hand up for a starting place,” said Walker, who played in the competition for Quins last season and has one eye on the 2016 Olympics, where rugby sevens will make its debut.
“It was a huge experience last season, we had a lot of young players with a lot of pace and we put our game on the park and did pretty well in the first tournament.
“It was a really good thing, there was quite a big crowd and it’s just getting bigger and, hopefully, it’s going to be even bigger this time.
“The key to it is getting a consistent performance each week. You know what you want to do on the pitch and obviously sometimes it’s not always going to go your way.
“It’s about minimalising your errors and that’s how your game gets better.
“In sevens everyone can see what you’re doing and it’s much more unique to your position – everyone sees your tackles and your running.
“I used to play a lot of sevens and got the opportunity to go to Hong Kong and Tokyo, but we’ve also played down at Esher this season and the combination of both has been really good.
“I want to focus on my XVs now but everyone would dream of winning a gold medal at the Olympics.
“If the opportunity’s there I am sure everyone would take it – it would be awesome.”
To buy tickets for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series, visit jpmorgan7s.com or call 08448 472492.