Search

show me:

Ilias says Walker is good to go after calf strain

3 minute read

Lachlan Ilias has given the strongest hint yet that Cody Walker will play in the NRL season opener, saying his South Sydney halves partner is good to go.

CODY WALKER of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the NRL Semi Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
CODY WALKER of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the NRL Semi Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Lachlan Ilias has indicated he expects Cody Walker to line up with him in South Sydney's halves for the NRL's Las Vegas season opener, as the star five-eighth battles a calf injury.

Walker was coy on his availability for the clash with Manly when asked on Wednesday, saying people would "have to wait and see".

But Ilias offered a slightly more confident response, stating that his halves partner was fine to run out against the Sea Eagles on Saturday night.

"He's listed ... he's good," Ilias said.

Walker was withdrawn from the All Stars game three weeks ago due to the calf strain, and has since remained in some doubt.

The Rabbitohs desperately need their No.6 to play, given the way he is able to unlock their left edge.

Adding to the Rabbitohs' challenges is that first-choice centres Campbell Graham and Jack Wighton will miss the match through injury and suspension respectively.

Souths have done their best to move on from last year's historic late-season collapse, after going from first in May to missing the finals completely.

"We had a good review of last year and we've moved on now and are looking forward to the future with a couple of new players coming in to boost that," veteran hooker Damien Cook said.

"The likes of (Sean) Keppie and Jack Wighton have done that. But looking back, it was a point where the harder we tried the worse it got.

"The effort was all there, it just wasn't in the right place and just wasn't happening for us.

"We'd been up for a long time without any result, which is also hard not just physically, but mentally as well.

"We had a great freshen-up, a great off-season and everyone's trained really well."

The dramas last year came as club legend Sam Burgess quit the Rabbitohs, amid claims of perceived favouritism towards Walker and Latrell Mitchell.

But Mitchell has since tried to put a line through the issue, adamant he had moved on from last season's fade-out.

"I don't even think about it until (the media) actually said something," Mitchell said.

"The past is the past now, it's a new year. It's 2024 now, I get to focus on that in round one on Saturday.

"The fire is still burning. It always is. It's about finding our feet. That's what we did last year. It's just about holding that through the year."

Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au