WIDNES Vikings hooker Danny Walker can put his boots away for a month after a busy break-out season finally came to an end with an England Academy stint.

The 18-year-old number nine, along with fellow Vikings Owen Farnworth and Keanan Brand, had a mixed bag with the England squad sharing a test apiece with France last week.

Pocket dynamo Walker, who crossed for England’s opening try, was happy with his overall contribution in France.

Walker said: “I went over to France with the same mindset that I have carried all year for both the U19s and first team, which is to just go out and do the best that I can.

“I wanted to try play in a way where I could lead the team around the field in both games. I felt like I did that more in the first game than I did in the second, but I went okay and I gave 100 per cent.

“It was nice to get over for a try. It was just a little darting run to get over the line. I was pleased that helped us get the win in the first test.”

Walker, who has represented England at all levels of its youth pathway, including a 2016 tour of Australia, says that his international experience has supported his development as a player.

“It is a great experience, being involved in internationals,” he said.

“First off, you get to meet lads from all over, making mates for life at these camps. It’s also great to experience new environment.

"I love going to them and learning new things from the coaches, every time I’m there.”

Despite making several international youth appearances, Danny says that he still feels the same pride at representing his country as he did in his first appearance.

“I’m privileged to play and wear the England shirt, it’s a massive honour for me,” he said.

“I hope that the coaches have seen that I’ve always done my best. Hopefully, I can continue to push on and have more opportunities like this.”

Walker committed his future to Vikings by signing a four-year deal - a reward for some high quality displays when he got the chance.

One of those was the televised Challenge Cup game against his home-town Warrington, but an even more telling contribution came against Sat Helens, with his tackle on Adam Swift late in the game giving Widnes the chance for one last winning play.

He was also heavily involved in the Vikings’ Super 8s campaign, including the dramatic victory over Catalans Dragons, as well receiving as a nomination for the prestigious Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year Medal.

Walker reflected: “I didn’t even expect to be in the first team at all this year!” he said.

“But as soon as I got the chance, I knew I had to take it with both hands. When I got knocked out away at Leigh on my debut, I thought that I wouldn’t get another chance this year. Luckily, I did.

“I knew I had to perform when Denis next gave me a chance, and I feel like I’ve done that. It’s all down to me now to take what I’ve done this year, and push forward into next season.

“I’m hoping to follow what I’ve done last year, which is to give it everything that I’ve got and see where that takes me,” he said.

“Whether that is in the first team or at Under 19s, I know that I will always give 100 per cent.

"Obviously, I’d love to be in and around the first team and keep progressing. I know that I need to keep learning and to continue to give it my all.”