NRL: NZ Warriors utility Dylan Walker humbly plays down achievement as 200th game looms

Even as he knocks on the door of a huge NRL milestone, NZ Warriors utility Dylan Walker insists this week isn't about him, with major occasions looming for other members of the squad.

When the Warriors travel to Sydney to face Parramatta Eels on Saturday night, a key quartet will all reach significant highlight in their respective careers.

Despite doubts on his availability, due to the impending arrival of his second child, half Shaun Johnson will become just the fifth player in Warriors history to make 200 appearances for the club.

Off-season arrival Walker, 28, will notch 200 NRL appearances of his own, after previous stints with South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles.

Front-rower Addin Fonua-Blake makes his 150th NRL appearance, while hooker Wayde Egan notches a century of his own, both after joining the Warriors from rival clubs.

Despite a career that's seen him tick off almost every possible achievement within the game, individual accolades are far from Walker's mind. Instead, he is concentrating on helping the side bounce back from last week's reality-checking loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"I haven't probably reflected on it too much," he said. "It is a special occasion - my family are probably more pumped up than I am and rightfully so, they've been with me every step of the way.

"I'm just excited to go out this weekend. There's a few boys this week who've got a milestone.

"It's not just about me, it's about a few others, but first thing's first, we've got to get a win."

Dylan Walker celebrates with Marcelo Montoya.
Dylan Walker celebrates with Marcelo Montoya. Photo credit: Photosport

Walker's milestone is made all the more significant for the fact he'll line up alongside Fonua-Blake.

After years shared at Manly, Walker followed Fonua-Blake across the Tasman to join the Warriors at the start of this year, but the pair's relationship started before they first shared a dressingroom in the NRL.

"I've been with 'Walks' since we were growing up," Fonua-Blake said. "He was a bit of a local gun in the area we grew up playing [in].

"He's done it all, won a [Grand Final], played for Australia, played Origin - all of it.

"Just to be part of his milestone, I'm pretty lucky. You don't get to play that many NRL games with people you've grown up playing with.

"A 200th and a 150th together, I'm just happy I get to go out there and lace up the boots with Dyl."

The Warriors feature quite low down the list of clubs that have helped Walker to his 200 games. With 62 appearances for the Rabbitohs and 124 for the Sea Eagles under his belt, Walker could easily have brought up a double-century playing in Australia.

Dylan Walker.
Dylan Walker. Photo credit: Photosport

After putting pen to paper in early 2022 with the Warriors, he has no regrets. 

"I thought I was going to be with South Sydney my whole career," he said. "When I got to Manly, I thought I was going to finish my career there.

"I've been lucky enough to come over here, Cam George got me over and I'm enjoying it."

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