Eagles' Walker gets shot at NRL critics

Matt Encarnacion
Dylan Walker hopes to prove doubters wrong when he returns to the Manly five-eighth role

Manly star Dylan Walker likes to think he can prove critics wrong when he returns to the problem five-eighth role for the NRL clash with Sydney Roosters.

Regular centre Walker made it clear during the pre-season that he didn't think he was the man for the pivot job when the possibility was raised following Blake Green's departure.

"When it came up. ... I said, 'Nah, man. I think I should just stay at centre. If you need someone there, I'd probably be the last choice'," Walker told AAP before round one.

But the season-ending knee injury to Lachlan Croker and coach Trent Robinson's continued controversial choice to overlook Jackson Hastings mean that's where Walker will line up at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Walker remains stung by criticism of his previous stint as playmaker - the Sea Eagles won just five of 13 games when he was thrust in the role last season after arriving from South Sydney on a big-money deal.

However he believes he's versatile enough to fill in there when called upon in time of need, even if it's not his best position.

"I don't like to close the door on that kind of opportunity," said Walker.

"Five-eighth is something that I'm familiar with but I just haven't played my best footy there.

"I'd like to think that I could show more there and prove a lot of critics wrong."

Walker's return to five-eighth continues the club's painful search for a halves partner for skipper Daly Cherry-Evans after Green's departure.

It began with the attempts to sign Mitchell Pearce then Trent Hodkinson in the summer while former bad boy Todd Carney was also linked with the club.