NIKKI Walker has spoken exclusively to the Hawick News about his heartache at missing out on this year’s World Cup.
The former Greens star, who has been capped 24 times, was believed to be in direct competition with Simon Danieli for the remaining spot on the wing.
And after being introduced as a replacement midway through the second half in the warm-up match against Italy, the 29-year-old looked to have done enough to book his place on the plane to New Zealand.
But his hopes were dashed after an awkward fall resulted in a serious injury, which saw him damage his medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
And Walker, who is a veteran of two previous World Cup campaigns, revealed he has also fractured his knee, which is expected to keep him sidelined for up to eight months.
He said: “I got on and I was playing pretty well and I was thinking I just needed to get through the game and I’d be in the World Cup squad. I wasn’t taking anything for granted, but I felt I was training well and I deserved my place. But then it was cruelly taken away from me.
“I remember going to step and my knee just gave way under me. I’m not sure if I was in denial, but it wasn’t too painful and I told the physio I felt okay and I’d walk off.
“I still thought I had a chance of going to the World Cup and it wasn’t until after I had a scan that night and I saw the doctor’s face I knew straight away it was bad news.
“It’s definitely the most disappointed I’ve been in my career. It’s hard to take in at the moment, the last few days have been a bit of a nightmare.”