9th February 2018, 10:43 | Leeds
Walters had been due to play for the Betfred Super League champions’ reserves against Hunslet at South Leeds Stadium on Friday night but instead joined up with Brian McDermott’s squad at Manchester Airport for the flight Down Under.
Walters, 23, who was a member of the Rhinos’ 2015 Grand Final-winning team, received his call-up after Ireland international Anthony Mullally suffered a serious finger injury in Thursday’s 20-11 Super League win over Hull KR at Elland Road.
“He’s snapped his finger,” McDermott said. “The bone has come out and he’s having an op.”
With Mitch Garbutt (quad), Mikolaj Oledzki (shoulder), Brett Ferres (knee), Keith Galloway (Achilles) and Nathaniel Peteru (bicep) all sidelined through injury, McDermott’s pack options are severely reduced.
Back-rower Brett Delaney is also a doubt after going off with concussion during the win over Hull KR but will make the trip.
“We’ll take him,” McDermott said. “The initial report from the doc is that he thinks he should be okay next week as long as he passes all the tests. But we wouldn’t allow him to go back on last night.”
Also in the squad is stand-off Joel Moon, who had an epidural during the week in an effort to cure a nerve problem in his leg, and full-back Ashton Golding. They both watched Thursday’s game from the sideline.
Melbourne will be without new signing Sam Kasiano, the former Canterbury Bulldogs prop who rolled his ankle in a trial match against Newcastle Knights, while centre Cheyse Blair is out with an ankle injury and forward Josh Addo-Carr is battling a hamstring strain.
Storm’s Australia trio Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Will Chambers are all set to start the game at AAMI Park.
Leeds’ 19-man squad: A Golding, T Briscoe, K Watkins (capt), L Sutcliffe, R Hall, J Moon, R Myler, A Cuthbertson, M Parcell, B Singleton, J Jones-Buchanan, C Ablett, S Ward, B Dwyer, B Delaney, J Keinhorst, J Ormondroyd, J Walker, J Walters.