Wayne Bennett chats with his five-eighth Cody Walker. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Wayne Bennett chats with his five-eighth Cody Walker. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Rabbitohs excitement machine won’t be blunted by Bennett

SOUTH Sydney playmaker Cody Walker's creative flair won't be suppressed by coach Wayne Bennett, who wants him to continue to play his own game.

Walker was in career-best form last season, calling the shots for the Rabbitohs and proving a handful for the defence with 19 line breaks - the third most in the NRL.

With Bennett favouring a more structured attack at Brisbane before his shift to Souths, Walker's off-the-cuff brilliance may not have fitted the veteran coach's style.

But the 29-year-old Walker, who was in Melbourne on Wednesday for his first appearance with the Indigenous All-Stars team, said Bennett didn't want him to stray far from his natural game.

Indeed, it's no secret that Bennett actually wanted to lure Walker away from Redfern while he was still head coach of the Broncos.

"Wayne wants me to play my game and, naturally, that's the way I want to play," Walker said.

"He doesn't want to keep me to one side, he wants to see me roam and have that freedom to do that."

Cody Walker leaves the defence behind. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Cody Walker leaves the defence behind. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) DEAN LEWINS

Walker said he'd been soaking up the knowledge from Bennett since his arrival at Redfern from the Broncos.

He felt a little intimidated given Bennett's standing in the game but said the master coach quickly put the players at ease.

"Everything he says you just want to listen to and take in," Walker said.

"I'm excited to work under a guy like Wayne as his record speaks for itself; it's the best in the NRL."

Walker was excited to line up in his first Indigenous team for Friday night's All-Stars clash with New Zealand Maori.

Heavily involved with his indigenous community, he said he'd long admired the concept - even buying a supporter jersey when it was first launched in 2010.

"I remember the first one. I bought a jersey for my partner and now I'm playing in it, so it's a bit surreal," Walker said.

"I've watched everyone since it's been on so it's a real honour and privilege to play in a game like this."

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