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Jasper Bruce

South Sydney's Cody Walker firming for Las Vegas

Cody Walker is 90 per cent certain to play for the Souths in their historic clash in Las Vegas. (Darren Pateman/AAP PHOTOS)

Cody Walker is a "90 per cent chance" to recover from his calf injury in time for South Sydney's historic season opener in Las Vegas.

Walker had been due to captain the Indigenous side in Friday night's All Stars clash but withdrew after tweaking his calf at training. 

Given even low-grade calf strains can still necessitate weeks on the sidelines, the injury casts doubt over Walker's ability to suit up at Allegiant Stadium on March 3.

Walker was seen with a brace on his right calf as he watched Saturday's 28-6 defeat of St George Illawarra in Kogarah but appeared to walk without problem afterwards.

He will fly to the USA with the Rabbitohs early next week and is expected to line up against Manly.

The 34-year-old's inclusion would be a major boost for Souths as they look to make an early statement after missing last season's NRL finals.

"Cody's a 90 per cent chance of playing," said Souths coach Demetriou.

"As long as he gets through his rehab runs early next week, he'll join the team and train the full week leading into round one."

Souths will welcome Latrell and Shaq Mitchell back after both were absent from the Charity Shield win, having played for the Indigenous All Stars the night before.

Damien Cook and Siliva Havili, rested for the win over the Dragons, are also "certain starters" for Las Vegas.

A relieved Demetriou confirmed there had been no new additions to the casualty ward on Saturday night.

"I said to a couple of the staff, 'I've never been more nervous for a game of footy than I was today'," he said.

"But we've come through unscathed."

The reality of contesting the first match for premiership points outside Oceania only began to hit Demetriou after his side defeated the Dragons.

"I honestly haven't even looked at what I need to take, haven't even thought about packing a bag. I just wanted to get through this game," he said on Saturday night.

"Just now I'm starting to realise that we're on a plane in 48 hours."

Demetriou also applauded the NRL's decision to allow would-be Maori representative Jacob Gagai to serve a one-match ban during the All Stars match.

Gagai was initially rejected when he applied to count the All Stars Match towards the ban he incurred playing in the 2023 State Championship.

But having presented the NRL judiciary with new evidence, Souths have Gagai available to line up for an NRL debut amid a shortage in the outside backs.

"He was devastated when he had to pull out of the All Stars game," Demetriou said of Gagai.

"To miss out on potentially a first-grade debut would've been another kick in the guts.

"It's been a really difficult 48 hours for the kid. Thankfully, the right decision has been made."


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