Walker is on $600,000 this season but is off contract for 2020, and there have been reports Walker is unwanted at Manly beyond his current deal.
The Sun-Herald understands Walker’s manager Wayne Beavis is expected to meet with coach Des Hasler as early as Monday to begin talks about an extension.
if you know that fine line and how to get under another player’s skin, well that player will be a target.
“When he’s fit and he’s well and there are no distractions Dylan Walker is one of the top three centres in the game. He’s up there with the best in the game,” Fulton told said. “He can play centre, five-eighth, fullback, wing and he’s a goal-kicker.
“That versatility would indicate he’s worth more than someone who can only play the one position.
“I think he’ll be part and parcel of what Manly need going forward.”
Manly had interest in Clint Gutherson as a centre, the same position Walker plays, only for the former Sea Eagle to this week re-sign with Parramatta. The Sea Eagles were never prepared to enter a bidding war with the Eels and knew Gutherson was all but a done deal out west once coach Brad Arthur inked his own extension.
It is easy to forget that when Walker played five-eighth last season along side Daly Cherry-Evans the Sea Eagles dusted heavyweights Brisbane, Melbourne and the Panthers. He is also a NSW Origin representative and played in the PM’s XIII in 2017 but broke his leg.
Walker has been known to antagonise rivals and last year suffered a fractured eye socket when Melbourne centre Curtis Scott snapped and snotted him. He later posted on social media “talk shit get hit”. The year before, Penrith players wanted to throttle him.
Josh Morris, the veteran who is suddenly a genuine centre option for Brad Fittler’s NSW Origin team, will take a fair bit of baiting, however, on the same side of the field at PointsBet Stadium.
“I hope he doesn’t tone it down. I hope he keeps doing what he’s doing,” Fulton said. “That’s what makes him the player he is. Look at Latrell Mitchell. He’s chirpy, but nobody tells him to tone it down. It’s the personality of the player.
“The game is not just about the tactics of coaches or the individual brilliance of players. If you’re within the boundaries, if you know that fine line and how to get under another player’s skin, well that player will be a target.
“It’s been going on in rugby league since 1908. It’s only because there are microphones on every blade of grass these days that they actually pick up everything.”
Meanwhile, Cherry-Evans is at long odds to make a comeback from ankle surgery next Friday night at Fortress Brookvale against the Gold Coast Titans.
The Manly skipper broke down against Canberra late last month and has worked around the clock to be fit for his club and Queensland. He remains confident he will be right for the Maroons should he run out of time to face the Titans.
Cherry-Evans even briefly moved in with his in-laws around the corner at Freshwater so he could focus on his recovery without the attention of his three young daughters.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.