You can see the passion in his eyes when he’s on the field in Red and Green – and now Cody Walker will have the honour of not only representing his culture but also leading the Indigenous All Stars this Friday night when they take on the Kiwi Māori All Stars.
Walker has had a meteoric rise to first-grade to say the least – after debuting at the tender age of 26 in Round 1 2016, he has established himself as one of the premiere five-eighths in the competition.
Season 2018 was a breakout year for Walker, scoring 12 tries, creating 14 and piling on 19 line break assists as the side fell just one game short of the Grand Final.
And now, in his first appearance for the Indigenous All Stars, he has been given the ‘c’ next to his name, something that General Manager of Football, Shane Richardson, says is no surprise.
“I’m not really surprised to see him get the captaincy to be honest,” said Mr Richardson.
“He’s a leader here at Redfern and he’s a mature and confident player now and he’ll certainly he leading around the side as he does with us.
Club captain and former Indigenous All Stars captain Greg Inglis is thrilled for his Rabbitohs teammate to be given the captaincy honour.
“Firstly, on being on selected for the Indigenous All Stars squad, on top to get the opportunity to captain the team.”
While he has absolutely revelled on the field, it’s the maturity he has shown and developed off the field which is what Richardson believes has held him in good stead.
“He’s taken on more of a leadership role with the team,” Mr Richardson explained.
“He’s worked a lot closely with the young players and trying to help develop them, and he’s become a leader in the discussions regarding what the team wants to look like and the culture the team wants to create.
“Off the field he’s done a lot of work with Souths Cares, and he’s matured as a human being, a dad and a husband and I think he’s gotten better and better as each year has gone by.”
See Cody Walker and Alex Johnston take on the Kiwi Māori All Stars featuring Dane Gagai Friday night Live on Nine and Fox League.