Lloyd Frederick Walker
- 671Wallaby Number
Lloyd Walker was said to be unfashionable, too slow, and awkward. Perhaps there is some truth in those views. However, there is no doubt that Lloyd Walker was a footballing genius. He possessed extraordinary ball handling skills, a softness of touch and a unique sense of timing and space that mesmerised his opponents.
Walker was the master of the two attributes that only great inside backs possess. Firstly, he performed best when at the advantage line. Secondly, he always ran parallel to the sideline and never encroached upon his outside support. He often attracted the attention of several would-be defenders and then at the salient moment slipped a soft ball to an unmarked teammate and sent him through a gap. He also had a wonderfully deceptive dummy pass. For a rugby purist, Walker was a joy to watch. Unfortunately, Walker’s innate creative abilities, whether it be at fly half or inside centre, were not recognised until late in his career.
Walker was born in Sydney and educated at Matraville High School. He captained the 1st XV and was a member of the school’s winning Waratah Shield teams in both 1976 and 1977.
Walker then joined the Randwick club and played in ten grand finals from 1981-94. Amazingly he did not make his New South Wales debut until 1985, against Queensland at Ballymore.
Walker was 29 when he was finally called upon by the Australian selectors in 1988 to make his Test debut, at fly half against New Zealand in Brisbane. In the first Test of the series two weeks earlier Australia were humbled by 7-32. Walker and Tim Gavin were brought into the side for the second Test and the Wallabies earned a more than respectable 19-19 draw.
Lloyd Walker, a proud indigenous Australian, played eight Tests for his country in a two-year international career. The great Mark Ella regarded Walker with reverence. That should be good enough for all and sundry to take on trust.
Represented Australian U21s against New Zealand U21s
Walker won his first Test cap as the starting fly half in the 2nd Test, 19-19 draw with New Zealand at Ballymore. He scored his first Test try in the 3rd Test, 9-30 loss to New Zealand in Sydney. Walker was selected on the Wallaby tour to the U.K. and Europe where he was capped at inside centre in the internationals against Scotland (32-13) and Italy (55-6).
Walker started at No.12 inside Dominic Maguire in all three Tests against the British Lions and inside debutant Tim Horan for the one-off Bledisloe Cup loss in Auckland.