A LATE bloomer from the Northern Rivers, who went on to play NRL and State of Origin for NSW, has achieved a personal milestone.
Casino product Cody Walker played his 150th game in the NRL when South Sydney defeated Manly 40-22.
He scored a try and was named man-of-the-match in the eighth round round clash.
Walker is one of the most talented rugby league players to come out of the region and has strong links to Casino, Cabbage Tree Island and Lismore.
He made his NRL debut as a 26-year-old in 2016.
It came after stints in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Penrith and Melbourne where he was unable to crack the top grade.
Since then he has gone to be one of the premier five-eighths in the NRL and has played in two State of Origin series
"Looking back and reflecting on my career it never seemed possible," Walker said.
"To play one game at 26-years-old was huge, but to reach 150 is pretty big milestone in my eyes.
"For where I've been and what I've been through, it's a pretty important game for me.
'"It's been a rollercoaster ride and I get emotional when I think about the people who have been in my corner since I was a kid.
I get emotional when I think about the people who have been in my corner since I was a kid.- Cody Walker
"I had a son at 21, no job, no car and I was on Centrelink. I had to turn things around because I had a son that was depending on me, that was the reality of it."
Walker has always given back to the rugby league community across the Northern Rivers.
He continues to work with the Casino Cougars who had 35 per cent of its players identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander last season
He has donated thousands of dollars to the Cougars and still plays in the Lismore Aboriginal Knockout carnival some years.
"So many emotions run through my head when I think about all the people who have been in my corner since I was a young kid," Walker said.
"My parents and brothers and coaches in junior levels who pushed me through.
"If I played (NRL) at 18 or 19 I probably would've played one or two games and been out the door. That's the reality of my life at that time.
"Where I was in my career, I was quite selfish at a young age. I took things for granted. "It took me a little while to get where I wanted to be. "Probably because of my reputation at that age."
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