A CHRONIC but long undiagnosed lower-back problem has emerged as one of the main reasons for the injury-plagued career of former Titans fullback and Australian rugby sevens player Shannon Walker.
The Kyogle product was released from the Titans last August and made his debut for the Australian sevens team only three weeks ago following persistent hamstring injury.
"It turns out the main source of my problem was an impingement in my lower back," Walker said.
"It was causing a pelvic tilt and putting all the pressure on my hamstring.
"I'd keep pushing myself and be back for a week and then out again for three - it was really frustrating."
Walker was part of the Australian team that defeated Samoa 28-26 in the final of the Tokyo Sevens last week.
He credits his ability to pick up the game in such a short time to coach and fellow rugby league convert Michael O'Connor.
"He understands where I'm coming from because he's done the same thing," Walker said.
"I'm loving the rugby. I've already been to Fiji, Hong Kong and Japan.
"We have England and Scotland coming up soon so that will be another two I can tick off the box."
Although Walker has his sights set on playing in the Australian sevens team at the 2016 Olympics, he admits he would love to play rugby league again.
"I would definitely love to come back but that is a long way down the track," he said.
"I had injuries at the Titans and I was never going to get ahead of Preston Campbell and Zilly (William Zillman).
"We have a young team and the plan is to come together now and aim for those Olympics.
"I live in Brisbane and we travel around and train in Sydney and Canberra so it's just as hectic as being in the NRL.
"I'm racking up a heap of frequent flyer points anyway."
The sevens team has a month to prepare for the final two World Series events of the year which will be held next month.