Old rugby players never die, they just age gracefully.
That is the case at least, for the 44-year-old Andrew Walker, who will leave his walker at home and come out of retirement yet again to represent the Australian Capital Territory Brumbies when the Brisbane 10s bounces this coming weekend.
He left the pensioners’ home behind last year for the same reason, more than ten years subsequent to his last feature for the Brumbies.
Apparently, a 10-year rest does wonders for the legs, as his performance in last year’s 10s was more than enough to attract the attention of Coach Stephen Larkham, who cheekily suggested that Walker should contemplate a return to Super Rugby.
Walker featured prominently for the Brumbies in 2001, along with playing seven Tests for the Wallabies, where Australia beat the British and Irish Lions, and then went on to help his side win the Bledisloe Cup, back in those halcyon days of Aussie rugby when New Zealand was less than invincible, as they have been for every year, beginning in 2003.
Walker will be joined on the Brumbies for the Brisbane 10s by some formidable firepower for this second edition of the 10s.
Lining up alongside Walker will be several current Wallabies, those being Kyle Godwin, Rory Arnold and Henry Speight.
Walker and his Brumbies mates have drawn a tough slot alongside the Crusaders, the Hurricanes and Fiji.
The Brumbies first game will be Friday, 9 February against Fiji. They then play the Crusaders immediately afterward, and then the Hurricanes the next day.
All of the games are scheduled for the evening hours, much to the relief of everyone.
The Brumbies have 26 players ready to go, so fatigue should not be a serious issue, unless you consider the fatigue of writing the name of Brumbies forward Leslie Leulua’iali’i-makin as part of the equation.
Try putting that on the back of a jumper.