Walker keeping fit for World Cup

Sports
Silky back Gemma Walker training with the PNG Orchids at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. – PNGRFLpic

By PARKER TAMBUA
PAPUA New Guinea Orchids fullback Gemma Walker said she was happy to pass time in rugby union and touch this year after the deferral of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup to 2022.
The 24-year-old, who was previously known as Gemma Schnaubelt, played some matches as a fly-half for the Brisbane-based GPS rugby union club’s first-division women’s side in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition.

Papua New Guinea international Gemma Walker with her medal after she was named as the 2019 Queensland Rugby League women’s division-one player of the final. – QRLpic

Earlier this month, Walker led the Australian-based PNG women’s team to the Touch Rugby League (TRL) crown.
She told The National last week that she was happy to finish the year positively while remaining focused on the Orchids’ World Cup campaign in England next year.
“It was good to finish the year by winning the TRL women’s world championship with the PNG team based here,” Walker said.
“Before that, I was part of the New South Wales (NSW) team which won the TRL State of Origin this year.
“NSW also won the Australian Touch Rugby League Championships, so I was thrilled to win three different events in touch.
“I had a great year in rugby union too.

Gemma Walker recycling possession for GPS in the Queensland Premiers Rugby Union competition. – Picture courtesy of GPS RUGBY CLUB

“Although I didn’t play many games, I was happy that my team (GPS) made the finals.
“Though we didn’t reach the grand final, I was happy to be part of a great team and season.”
Walker said she would now shift her focus to the World Cup.
“Hopefully, we can get some positive news on what will happen in terms of the rugby league calendar,” she said.
“I can’t wait to put on the Orchids jersey again.”