QUEANBEYAN, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Sam Walker of the Roosters celebrates a try with team mates during the NRL trial Match between the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders at Seiffert Oval on February 27, 2021 in Queanbeyan, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Sam Walker of the Sydney Roosters has won the Rookie of the Year award at the annual Dally M medals.

While it had been thought Reece Walsh may have been the favourite for the award after his barnstorming performances for the New Zealand Warriors, he was ruled ineligible following suspensions.

The Roosters' rookie was only supposed to be something of a backup option at the Roosters this year, behind the likes of Luke Keary, Lachlan Lam and Drew Hutchison in the halves.

However, he was called into the side early in the year as injuries crippled the Roosters and ended up remaining there as the injury crisis worsened.

Dealing with his own injuries, Walker played an instrumental hand in the Roosters ending up just outside the top four, and eventually being knocked out in the semi-finals by a red-hot Manly Sea Eagles outfit.

SAM WALKER
Halfback
Roosters
2021 SEASON AVG
0.9
Try Assists
0.4
Tries
117
Kick Metres

"First off, I'd just like to thank the Sydney Roosters for the year," Walker said at the awards ceremony.

"I came into the year not knowing what I was going to do this year, but the belief that was instilled in me through the club, through Robbo (Trent Robinson), through the players was huge.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without the club."

Walker edged out a field including names like Wests Tigers' prop Stefano Utoikamanu and Manly Sea Eagles' gun second-rower Josh Schuster.

The youngster is now odds-on to front up in the halves for the Roosters next year alongside a returning Luke Keary.