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Souths eye captaincy spark from Walker

By George Clarke
Souths coach Jason Demetriou is hoping the captaincy will spark a return to form for Cody Walker. (AAP)

South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou hopes the appointment of Cody Walker as captain will help ignite the struggling five-eighth's season and spark a revival in his team's premiership hopes.

After a 2021 campaign where Walker led the Rabbitohs' charge towards the grand final with 37 try assists and 16 tries, the playmaker has struggled to replicate that form in 2022.

Souths, who have four wins from the opening nine games, face the Warriors at Magic Round on Saturday, knowing they need Walker to rise to the occasion.

Fullback Latrell Mitchell remains sidelined with a hamstring problem and skipper Cameron Murray was ruled out of action for the next month after undergoing a cleanout on his shoulder.

"He's a leader in our club and I'm sure he will embrace the responsibility," Demetriou said.

"Cody knows when he needs to control it and when he doesn't.

"With being captain it makes it more about the team, and it gets it (your form) out of your own head as well."

If the captaincy doesn't help Walker press reset on his 2022 season then the fact Souths trained at a rain-soaked Langlands Park in Brisbane on Friday might just do the trick.

It was there that Walker, playing for the Brisbane Tigers, was first spotted by NRL scouts before finally making his debut in the top grade for Souths at the relatively late age of 26.

Now 32, Walker will be joined on Souths' left edge by Campbell Graham.

The rangy centre, who brings up his 100-game milestone on Saturday, has mainly played on the right in his NRL career.

But with a NSW Origin jersey up for grabs, the move could tempt Blues coach Brad Fittler into picking the 22-year-old.

"Jaxson (Paulo) is more comfortable on the right and it's something I've been thinking about the last few weeks," Demetriou said.

"Campbell is a threat and he creates more space for Cody and Alex Johnston.

"I think he has Origin written all over him, he's physical and tough out of the back field and he's arguably the best defensive centre in the game."

In other news, Demetriou confirmed fullback Blake Taaffe was good to play after missing training this week with the flu.

Kodi Nikorima, who signed from the Warriors earlier this week, is likely to play against his former club by coming on and slotting into a ball-playing lock role from the bench.

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Dive Deeper:
Walker sparks Souths to win over Warriors
Cody Walker was back to his best as he helped South Sydney to a 32-30 NRL win over the Warriors…
Penrith Panthers thrash Melbourne Storm 32-6 in NRL Magic Round as Gold Coast and South Sydney record victories
Penrith dominates Melbourne Storm 32-6 in wet and slippery conditions in Brisbane, while Gold Coast and South Sydney earlier won…
Ponga's Knights woes no worry for Slater
Queensland State of Origin coach Billy Slater says he's not worried about Newcastle's NRL struggles affecting Kalyn Ponga's ability to…
Brown backed to bring best out of Warriors
Nathan Brown's Warriors have been criticised for their lack of composure but Kevin Campion believes his old club must stick…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Broncos boast pulling power again: Walters
Victory for Brisbane against Manly on Friday night as part of the NRL's Magic Round would give the Broncos their…
Fitzgibbon buoyed by Sharks' character
Craig Fitzgibbon hopes Cronulla can continue to build on the character they displayed in last week's victory over the Warriors…
Get all your news in one place