Dream NRL start for Tass in Walker's 150th

·2-min read

There's a certain symmetry about Isaiah Tass making his NRL starting debut when superstar teammate Cody Walker notches up his 150th game for South Sydney.

Tass will have the luxury of being directly outside Walker on the Rabbitohs' deadly left edge when the 22-year-old plays in the centres against Manly on Friday night in Gosford.

It shapes as a dream introduction to the big time for the Mackay-born talent after an impressive 15-minute cameo off the bench against Canterbury two weeks ago.

"You're playing outside Cody Walker, it's pretty exciting for any centre," said Souths coach Jason Demetriou.

"We know what he can do, he's done it in reserve grade, he's had a great start to his NRL career and he's earned the right to start in that position.

"He's been in form in NSW Cup so I'm looking forward to him getting his first start. Slots in nicely."

Cronulla destroyed Manly's right-side defence last week, piling on six first-half tries, leaving Demetriou - and likely privately Tass - salivating at the prospect of getting their own shot at the Sea Eagles with he Rabbitohs' left-side attack.

"We've got to make sure we get multiple shots at them. We've got that much talent in this footy team, we'll score," Demetriou said.

While Tass is getting his first taste of NRL in his early 20s, Walker is the ultimate late bloomer.

The 32-year-old NSW State of Origin playmaker only made his debut at 26 after biding his time carving up in the Queensland Cup, then the NSW Cup for the North Sydney Bears.

"I coached against Cody in Northern Pride back in 2013 and I remember thinking for a couple of years I can't believe that he hadn't played NRL," Demetriou said on Thursday.

"He was that far ahead of anybody in those competitions.

"To not only get an opportunity but to play 150 games is pretty special.

"I know his family and his friends in the team are really proud of him and hopefully he can go out there tomorrow night and put on a performance that reflects that.

"He's been really good the last few weeks. He's smiling and bouncing around again."

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