Blues' Walker to juggle AFLW, NRLW
Carlton forward Brooke Walker will miss the opening two-to-three weeks of the AFLW season to play in the NRLW with Parramatta before returning to see out the Blues' 2022 campaign.
Walker signed with the Eels ahead of the coming season but is still under contract at Carlton, where she has booted 14 goals in 22 games since 2019, and is currently completing AFLW pre-season.
"I'm extremely grateful to Carlton for accepting my wish to seek NRLW opportunities and balance the commitments of two elite sports," Walker said.
"I can't thank the club enough for accepting my decision.
"They have certainly been accommodating and I look forward to repaying their faith with absolute commitment when I'm able to return during the season later this year."
Walker said on Instagram she had deliberated over her decision for 18 months.
The 27-year-old grew up playing rugby league in New Zealand but due to the lack of opportunities as a girl, moved into touch footy and Rugby Sevens.
She won Olympic gold in Sevens in Rio in 2016 then joined the Blues in 2019.
"Brooke came to us with her interest to explore NRLW opportunities and we have been able to come to an arrangement that lets her participate in both codes," Blues women's football boss Brett Munro said.
"Brooke will still be with us for the start of pre-season training and we look forward to her return to our program once she has completed her NRLW commitments."
Walker is the first AFLW player to switch to NRLW but isn't the first player to juggle two codes.
Her former Carlton teammate and current GWS player Chloe Dalton has balanced Sevens and AFLW commitments while former Adelaide player Jenna McCormick quit to focus on soccer in 2019.
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