Reinforcements confirmed as Walker out for All Stars

Jasper Bruce |

A calf injury has forced Indigenous skipper Cody Walker out of the NRL’s pre-season All Stars match.
A calf injury has forced Indigenous skipper Cody Walker out of the NRL’s pre-season All Stars match.

The Indigenous All Stars have been forced to reconfigure for their annual clash with the Maori side after five-eighth and captain Cody Walker was one of three players to withdraw injured.

The South Sydney veteran will miss Friday’s clash in Townsville with a calf injury sustained at training and faces a race against the clock to line up for the Rabbitohs’ season-opener in Las Vegas.

The Indigenous All Stars have called former North Queensland playmaker Kyle Laybutt into the squad, though Nicho Hynes and Braydon Trindall are likelier to combine in the halves with Walker out.

Hynes and Trindall finished the season as Cronulla’s first-choice halves pairing and are more experienced at NRL level than Laybutt, who has played only two games.

Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly and Manly forward Zac Fulton also come into the squad, replacing Isaiah Tass and Jacob Alick, who have withdrawn.

Jojo Fifita and Keenan Palasia join the Maori camp after Jacob Gagai, the uncapped brother of NRL star Dane, and Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak pulled out.

AAP