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Cody Walker gives Broncos' Sailor belief in NRL chance

3 minute read

Brisbane's Tristan Sailor, 25, spurned a chance to join Super League and says late bloomer Cody Walker's NRL story gives him faith his NRL career will blossom.

Cody Walker.
Cody Walker. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Brisbane fullback Tristan Sailor is 25 and is yet to get a regular crack at the NRL, but he only has to look at South Sydney's Cody Walker to believe his time will come.

During the off-season, Sailor, who also played in the halves when at St George Illawarra, spurned a chance to join Leigh Leopards in the Super League, instead staying loyal to the Broncos, with whom he is contracted until 2025.

The versatile Sailor had three try assists and scored one of his own in a man-of-the-match performance in the 26-16 trial win over Wynnum-Manly on Saturday.

Reece Walsh is locked in at No.1 and Ezra Mam and Adam Reynolds are secure in the halves, so Sailor, who has played just nine NRL games, has to be patient.

Walker has 191 games under his belt at the age of 34, but he was a late bloomer.

Sailor can certainly relate to that.

"A lot of the time it is about controlling what you can control," Sailor said at the Broncos' fan day on Sunday.

"While that can be hard at times, that is what I live by.

"I do what I can and the opportunities will come. While they haven't as yet, I just keep working.

"Cody Walker is a good example, because he didn't debut until he was 26. I'm 25 now.

"Cody is probably the best five-eighth in the game now, so I've seen in the positions we play how you mature into the position. The longevity in the game is increasing."

It is Sailor's versatility that led coach Kevin Walters to say after the Wynnum game that he was a genuine NRL option as a bench utility in the No.14 jersey.

"It is my goal to get into the 17 somehow, and (playing as a utility) looks like the best way to do that at the moment," Sailor said.

"Luckily I played a few positions coming through, and I am solidifying my defence in case I have to go into the middle.

"(Walters' comments) definitely make me more confident."

Sailor confirmed the Leopards' interest, but said the grass wasn't always greener elsewhere, as he discovered when listening to seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady when he visited the Broncos last month.

"Tom Brady told a similar story where he could have transferred colleges but he stuck in there and it worked out for him," Sailor said.

"That is what we could see happening here, but it is all up to Kevin (Walters). I just have to make sure I do my best.

"You look at Super League and people with similar attributes to me have gone really well.

"The opportunity to play at a high level in my position was definitely there (at Leigh), but I am contracted to the Broncos.

"I am staying here and hopefully I can use my talents in the NRL."

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