Cody to walk the talk
YAMBA teenager Cody Walker has taken the first steps towards a career in top-flight rugby, after being offered scholarships from the Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies academies.
Walker, 15, has been playing both codes of football since the age of six, his mother Carrie said, and although he enjoys both, rugby union is what he was made for.
"He loves playing football, he really does, and he plays league as well, but union is what he really excels at, no doubt," Walker said of her son.
It was a relatively long road for the young Yamba Buccaneers product to attract the notice of scouts from two of Australia's premier rugby franchises.
First, he attended trials in Coffs Harbour and was selected in the Northern New South Wales Lloyd McDermott Indigenous side, albeit not in his favoured position, something that threatened his chances of gaining the attention of scouts.
However, he was offered a game for the Southern New South Wales Lloyd McDermott side, at his favoured position of prop, and when they played a game at Palm Beach in Queensland, Cody did more than enough to ensure he left an impression.
"He played really well that game, and it was great that he had that opportunity with Southern New South Wales in his favourite spot, so it was good they gave him that chance," Carrie said.
With such strong footballing heritage, it isn't surprising that Walker has come so far at such young age.
Brothers Jordan and Joe were both Lloyd McDermott representatives at local and national levels, and both now star for the high-flying Buccaneers senior team, while his father Joe and uncle Tommy were both feared props in their heyday around the Northern Rivers rugby league competition.
While his family members are obvious role models for Cody, Carrie also says he pays close attention to the games involving Kane Douglas, another Yamba product, who now is a regular starter for the New South Wales Waratahs.
"He really looks up to Kane Douglas, as well as his family.
"He loves playing rugby, so he really would like to make it a career, like Kane has done," Carrie said.
With offers from two major Australian teams and his best rugby still ahead of him, Cody is well on his way to fulfilling that dream.