DEPARTING Penrith star Luke Walsh has revealed he has a getout clause allowing him to return to the NRL at any time in his two-year contract at St Helens.
While coach Ivan Cleary insists it’s still a rebuilding year at the foot of the mountains, the Panthers were briefly in the top eight at the weekend and it was the Langtree Park-bound pair of halfback Walsh and interchange forward Mose Masoe which played a big role in the 25-10 win over St George Illawarra.
“Yeah, I’ve got an opportunity to get out … at any time,” Walsh said when asked about his contract provisions at the Super League club.
“I was just getting sick of the pressure here. It’s pressure week-in and week-out. I can go over there, enjoy myself, improve my game, I mightn’t come back…”
Walsh and Masoe are part of the big cleanout at Centrebet Stadium, with Jamie Soward likely to replace the former in the no.7 jumper.
Walsh continues: “Now I’m starting to enjoy it here. It feels like a relief that I’ve signed with St Helens. Since I’ve signed there, I’ve knuckled down and just tried to work on my game.
“I’ve spoken to Daisy (former St Helens star David Fairleigh) about it, I’ve spoken to my little mate Burnsy (Travis Burns) over there a few times.
“They’ve enjoyed it over there. It will be a good experience. It’s something to look forward to at the end of the year.
“An opportunity arose and I took it.
“I’m trying to improve on my game each week, I want to leave on good terms.’
The Panthers were in the eight until Newcastle beat Gold Coast on Sunday and remain the surprise packet of the mid-season after being tipped in some quarters to finish last.
Walsh explains: “We started improving in our defence and as soon as we did that, we knew we were a top eight team. It’s all about attitude in defence.
“There’s still a lot improvement to come right across the park but we’re basing our game on out defence, that’s just main thing. We’re just playing tough and hard for each other.
“Our attack’s there, especially with young (Matt) Moylan. He’s helped us a lot at the back there, which has improved our attack.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK