From the Surrey Hills to the Yorkshire dales the journey of Josh Walters has been an interesting one. We caught up with the new Broncos signing for a chat.
So Josh, you have been here now since October how are you finding life in London?
Yeah, I am really liking it here. I’ve been in and around Leeds for the past eight years. Don’t get me wrong I love it up there but there is so much more to do and see here in the capital. For me it was a nice change and the chance to be a lot closer to a lot of my family too. They are based in Surrey so it’s a lot easier now than it was.
You were born in Guildford in Surrey so why so many years in Leeds?
Both my parents are from down here but my Dad moved north when he was younger and then moved back. We then moved to the very top of North Yorkshire near Middlesbrough to a little village away from the world really. I started playing Rugby League up there when I was nine and then we moved to Leeds and I played in sixth form and moved to the Leeds Carnegie Academy. I did that for a couple of years and then signed for the Rhinos.
So 8 years in Leeds so why are you a Middlesbrough fan?
When I was at primary school that was the nearest team to us and the school used to get given tickets to the games. There was a scheme there and my first game was Borough against Liverpool when Gareth Southgate was still there and he scored the winner. They weren’t bad back then but since have struggled a bit but I have had some good times as a Borough fan.
Were you leaning towards football or was it always rugby league?
I remember being told as a kid that I was very good at football but at the time I was too young for the academy up there. They told my mum to let me play local football. I did and unfortunately my mum didn’t like the coach so she told me that I wasn’t doing that anymore and that was it so I got into acting and I did a lot of drama workshops and Pantomime’s in the local area for two or three years. After that when I was about 9 my mates played union so I went and did that instead.
You were at the million-pound game last year with Featherstone Rovers. How does that compare to a Grand Final like 2015?
They are very different events obviously. I didn’t play in the MPG but I was there and it was a great spectacle as London fans will know. The Grand Final at Old Trafford was mind blowing. I don’t know how many were there that day as I can’t remember a lot about it as I was so nervous and it’s a bit of a blur even now. I remember after the game and the feeling then but I don’t think you can compare the two really as they are so different. Rugby in Canada is new and the fans are different as we were in the game for a large period and they just go quiet as, again, the Broncos fans will know.
We imagine you had offers from a few clubs so what made you choose the Broncos?
I always wanted to branch out and play rugby league elsewhere other than in that M62 corridor. I fancied a change up and did consider going to Australia to play but as soon as I had spoken to Danny Ward I kind of knew I wanted to come here. We didn’t talk about rugby he told me all about the kind of people he wanted here and the vision of the club off the field as well as on it and that was a big thing for me. I never want to see this as a job or should I say just a job. I want to enjoy the game and coming down here there were so many more life opportunities that it was an easy decision to make and London was always the number one choice.