South Sydney are sizing up Cody Walker as the club’s long-term No.1 after he this week resisted other offers to remain at Redfern.
After coach Michael Maguire’s surprise decision to move skipper Greg Inglis to five-eighth, Walker has switched from the halves to fullback and made an impression in his last two NRL outings.
His 227 metres, three linebreaks, 10 tackle busts and try in the side’s controversial golden point loss to Gold Coast in Perth on Sunday paint a picture of his potential in the position.
“I’m excited for Cody, the way he’s grown over the last two games at fullback, I think there are really good signs for him,” Maguire said.
“He’s shown some form and he’s very smart, the way he’s picked up the role of fullback.
“It does take time to understand not just the attack but the defensive side of fullback play. I think he could be something very special down the back there.”
Walker, who made his debut in round one at the age of 25, this week rewarded the club for their investment and faith in him when he re-signed until the end of 2018.
After being courted by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett, he had the option to go elsewhere.
Now Maguire said he had the chance to make the cardinal and myrtle No.1 jersey his own.
“At the moment I’m really pleased,” Maguire said.
“We look at our attack and look at ways we can improve but he’s showing signs that we’ve found a player that can really fit in that position for us.
“I’m really pleased that he’s signed too. He’s excited to be a part of the club and he’s very passionate about this organisation.”