Walker ready to be Souths' game-breaker
Cody Walker is the man to replace Greg Inglis as South Sydney's instinctive game-breaker in the wake of the superstar's season-ending NRL injury.
Many critics had declared the Rabbitohs' season over in the wake of the injury, with Souths lacking the fullback's impetus to break the game wide open.
Highlighting Inglis' importance to the Bunnies, the Rabbitohs had lost their last nine games without Inglis before Saturday's 38-18 win over Manly, at a for-and-against of -207.
But that didn't factor in Walker's ability to change the game from the halves for South Sydney.
The second-year player was the Bunnies' best on Saturday evening, taking the game by the scruff of the neck in an 11-minute period where he scored one try and set up two others before half-time.
"I love playing footy and I love off the cuff type play," Walker told AAP.
"I saw an opportunity and I took it. That's how I play footy and that's how I like to play footy."
Walker played seven games at fullback last year for Souths as Michael Maguire shifted Inglis to a centre and five-eighth, but there was no second thought of returning him to the No.1 jersey last week.
Instead, he kept him in his natural position at five-eighth and the decision paid dividends for Souths.
Walker also made four line-breaks, but insisted he didn't feel the need to change his game following Inglis' injury.
"I just worry about my own job," Walker said.
"I felt out there I did need to have a voice in some parts of the game. I thought I did that."
Walker is one of the oldest second-year players in the league.
Now 27, he only made his debut last season after nagging injuries had postponed his path to the top grade.
However he now believes that age and experience will help him avoid the dreaded second-year syndrome as the Rabbitohs rely on him more in 2017.
"I'm older than a lot of the youngsters - I felt comfortable," Walker said.
"Nerves aren't a thing. I don't get nervous before games, I'm just confident in the way I train and the combinations I have on the field to do the job."
© AAP 2017