Walker declares: I’m no Foran

Dylan Walker has declared he’s no Kieran Foran after pulling on the Manly No.6 jumper for the first time.

Walker earned a big tick of approval from coach Trent Barrett after playing a leading hand in the side’s 58-0 thrashing of Queensland Cup side Ipswich in an NRL trial on Saturday night.

In his first hit-out in his new colours following his controversial defection from South Sydney, Walker looked in control and combined fluently with halves partner Daly Cherry-Evans at Pittwater Park.

Having played centre for almost all of his career, the 21-year-old former Australian Test representative showed a good rapport with his new teammates and comfortable guiding the side around the park.

The Jets were vastly out-classed and Barrett won’t get a real gauge on where his side sit until their season opener against Canterbury in a fortnight.

How they fare without New Zealand Test playmaker and premiership-winner Foran is one of the big questions to be answered in the 2016 season.

During his seven-year tenure at Brookvale Oval, Foran established a deep understanding with his teammates, in particular fullback Brett Stewart, with the two becoming one of the deadliest one-two punches in the game.

But Walker said he wasn’t feeling the pressure to recreate Foran’s game and was setting his own standards.

“I don’t feel the pressure, there’s a lot of external things going around outside of our little bubble,” Walker said.

“All the boys inside the club give me a lot of confidence.

“It just makes my job a whole lot easier having the likes of Steve Matai, Jamie Lyon, Daly Cherry-Evans and Brett Stewart around.”

Cherry-Evans also looked good in what was his first game since off-season shoulder surgery, having a hand in many of the side’s 10 tries.

Barrett declared Walker’s transition to five-eighth still a work in progress but liked what he saw from his new halves pairing against the Jets.

“(Walker) is a good player and he’s a footballer,” Barrett said.

“He can play a number of conditions and can do it comfortably.

“Just his speed over the advantage line is what he’s really good at.

“He’s just got to keep working hard on his game.”

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