Walker dropped everything and made the rushed trip to Nowra last year, only to never get one final chance to say goodbye.
Walker’s eldest brother Ryan told the Herald last year how the family started sifting through their mother’s belongings in the hospital and were amazed by what they discovered.
«There was every ticket from every one of his [Cody’s] games that she’d been to,» Ryan said. «She was extremely proud of Cody, especially in the last couple of years. We all have been.»
Walker has been in amazing form this season and is now starting to feature regularly in the NSW No. 6 Origin conversation.
The TV broadcasters will beam plenty of footage of Bennett and Seibold in the respective coach’s boxes, but nothing will top Walker’s raw emotion, especially if he can score late in the game and secure a seventh win in eight games for Souths.
Halfback and good friend Adam Reynolds said Walker would not disappoint on the Origin stage. Souths skipper Sam Burgess recently said »I think we’re all seeing the same thing – Cody is a special player.»
While Walker, 29, loves family, he is just as passionate about his indigenous roots, even making a remarkable hit-and-run trip to the bush this week.
After Souths players answered endless questions about Bennett and former coach Seibold, the Herald learned Walker finished training, rushed to the airport and boarded a flight to Dubbo, then drove two-and-a-half hours to Condobolin on Monday night where he gave a speech about indigenous health. He also made a point of signing more than 200 autographs for the young locals in the state’s central west.
Walker said when Bennett first arrived he had spoken to him about cutting out his errors, which he has done the past month with just two mistakes, an amazing statistic for a playmaker.
Meanwhile, the NRL auditors are likely to finalise their recommendations for Inglis’ post-football arrangement – and whether any of his salary should be included in the club’s cap – could be finalised by the end of the week, but more than likely handed down early next week.
Centre James Roberts continues to be linked to the club, but there has been zero interest or contact from Souths, the same club who sacked the centre in the first place after a string of interesting offences.
Souths have shown interest in Broncos’ youngster Gehamat Shibasaki, but that deal could yet fall over as negotiations enter a third week.
With outside backs Braidon Burns and Adam Doueihi to return from injury in the next month, the Rabbits could yet hold fire and use the funds left over from Inglis to make a bold move for a marquee player.
Tevita Pangai Junior, who returns from suspension against Souths on Thursday night, is one off-contract player understood to be not on the Redfern radar.
Around 5000 Inglis face masks and his actual wax figure from Madame Tussauds will be in display at ANZ Stadium with an anticipated crowd between 15,000 to 20,000.
The star skipper will be paraded before the game as he prepares to enter a range of mentoring, coaching and community roles with the club and Souths Cares.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.