Walker thought his rep career was over
THIS will be a Rabbitoh redemption in the Pacific.
South Sydney star Cody Walker will return to representative football after his gut-wrenching dumping from NSW's State of Origin side this season.
At age 29, and fearing his rep days may now be over, Walker has fought back tenaciously from his Origin demise to win a place in the Prime Minister's XIII for the match against Fiji in Suva.
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Walker has also been selected in the Australians Nine's side.
The Rabbitoh was a broken man in June - but is now full of confidence and belief ahead of the PM's game.
"After being dropped you do question whether you be again be in any rep sides," Walker told The Daily Telegraph in Fiji.
"It was a hard lesson I had to learn. I have found glimpses of that form over the back-end of the season.
"Your footy takes control of things and I felt at the back-end of the season I recaptured my form and sowed glimpses of the form I showed at the start of the year. I just had to get back to playing my best footy."
Asked did the Origin sacking damage his confidence, Walker said: "Yeah, obviously it did. It was about turning my focus around and getting that confidence back.
"So to be recognised in a side like this, I'm very honoured and privileged to be a part of it. It's a great opportunity to come here and play against some locals.
"This side is a very experienced side but also has a lot of young kids coming through that are freaks of our game. I also can't wait to be part of the Nines squad, it's a different concept this year.
"There are some absolutely talented boys in that Nines squad. I don't know how I'm going to keep up with them but hopefully I can just get them into space and see how we go."
Walker was hooked before halftime of Origin I and sat benched until the final 10 minutes.
Despite setting up a late try to give NSW a chance for victory, Walker was dumped for Perth. He didn't play again in the three-game series
"It hurt a fair bit, being dropped the way I did. It was more the disappointment in myself in the way that I started the game," Walker said.
"It wasn't until I got taken off that I sat down, took a deep breath and thought: 'Far out, if I get an opportunity to get back on, I want to play the footy that got me into the side.'
"I thought that is what I did when I went back on - I was really energetic, I was around the footy and created a lot of opportunities to nearly win the game.
"NSW flagged them in game two and I was very happy for the boys to go on and win the series. I was more disappointed that I didn't play the way that I knew I was capable of."
Walker has taken a senior role in the PM's side and will guide, direct and mentor the younger players through this evening's game at Suva's ANZ Stadium.