Wembley try for Halifax Panthers winger Lachlan Walmsley would be cheered Down Under as his proud parents tune in to watch

They might be nearly 11,000 miles away on the other side of the globe but Lachlan Walmsley may just be able to hear his parents’ screams of delight from Down Under should he help Halifax Panthers to victory in the 1895 Cup final against Batley Bulldogs at Wembley.
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If so, his mother, Jane, and father Simon, may face the wrath of their neighbours in the small Australian town of Merriwa, New South Wales, as they will be watching the action unfold in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“They will be up watching the game, which kicks off at 2.30am,” Walmsley confirmed. “They are still living where I grew up on the other side of the world. They got up at 2.30am to watch the Fev game which was on Fox Sports last Sunday. They had to get up in the middle of the night!”

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And while his parents have remained in the town where he was born, 170 miles northwest of Sydney, it has been quite the rugby league journey for the Fax and Scotland winger.

Lachlan Walmsley scores the try that sends Halifax Panthers to WembleyLachlan Walmsley scores the try that sends Halifax Panthers to Wembley
Lachlan Walmsley scores the try that sends Halifax Panthers to Wembley

Having been brought up in a rugby league obsessed family, he progressed into the Newcastle Knights youth system before making his way to South Sydney. However, after not being able to “crack it” in the NRL, Walmsley made the daunting solo trip to the UK to sign for Whitehaven, while also realising his dream of representing Scotland at a World Cup. And then came the move to The Shay.

He said: “It’s been in my family and my blood the whole time. My Mum and Dad are rugby league tragics, I guess. My Dad played and my Mum’s brothers all played. We are a massive rugby league family. I played football until I was ten and from then I played rugby league.

“It’s been a bit of a different journey to what I thought was going to happen. I wanted to play in the NRL but couldn’t crack it there, so I came over here as I wanted to represent Scotland because of my Grandpa.

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“It was a big move to move away from my family but it was the right move I think in terms of developing my career and I’m enjoying it.

“I went to Whitehaven and played for them for 12 months and played for Scotland against Jamaica and then the World Cup was the following year. I had my eyes set on that. To be able to do that, and be where I am now, I am happy with it.

“I came over and no one really knew who I was or what I could do and I had that season at Whitehaven and I did pretty well. I scored 16 tries for the season, kicked a lot of goals and got noticed by Halifax. They took the chance on me and it’s worked out well.”

The last few months have certainly been a whirlwind for Walmsley. Featuring in a prestigious World Cup; lining up against the World Club Champions, St Helens; and now, playing in a Halifax side which hasn’t graced Wembley’s turf since 1988.

Would he have believed all that 12 months ago?

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“I’d like to! To actually do it and have that dream come true is very special.”

He added: It’s been a big 12 months for me and a few of the other boys who were in the World Cup like Woody (James Woodburn-Hall) and Louis (Jouffret).

“To then start this year and score as many tries and do as well as we have in the 1895 Cup is special for Halifax and for us as a group.”

And Walmsley hopes he can give his parents something to cheer about in the dead of night in Australia.

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“They are ecstatic and very proud,” he said. “If I can get over the whitewash I am sure I will celebrate it well. To have a winners’ medal at Wembley would definitely be one of the best moments of my career.”