Walker denies wielding too much power at Souths

Darren Pateman/AAP PHOTOS

Cody Walker denies wielding too much power at South Sydney and insists he remains on good terms with Sam Burgess after the assistant coach's abrupt exit from the besieged NRL club.

With their finals hopes in the balance, club legend Burgess walked out on Souths last Wednesday, allegedly after clashing with coach Jason Demetriou over his management of star players Walker and Latrell Mitchell.

John Morris, another Souths assistant who voiced concerns, has signed with Wests Tigers as an assistant coach for next year as an upheaval of Demetriou's staff looms in the off-season.

After Burgess's exit, Demetriou was forced to deny he was too soft on Mitchell and Walker, who have struggled to inspire Souths back to the form that had them atop the ladder through 11 rounds.

With Mitchell currently suspended, Walker has only one more game to help rouse Souths into the finals.

A loss to bitter rivals the Sydney Roosters on Friday will mean the Rabbitohs miss the top eight for the first time since 2017.

Walker insisted his sole focus was on the crunch clash, denying recent allegations he and Mitchell were given preferential treatment over their teammates.

"Definitely not," he said.

"It does (annoy me) a little bit.

"I can't control the external noise, I just want to get out and play footy.

"All our energy is focused on this weekend's game, we can't control the external noise that's going on.

"We can focus on getting our prep right into a huge game against our arch-rivals this weekend and what a spectacle that's going to be."

The Rabbitohs claimed Burgess left the club early to support his pregnant wife and prepare for his imminent move to Super League side Warrington, where he will become head coach in 2024.

Walker said he remained close with Burgess amid speculation as to the circumstances of his former teammate's departure.

"We're fine. I spoke to him last week," Walker said.

"I've still got plenty of time for Sam, who is one of my good mates. I've got a lot of time for him, I love him to death and wish him all the very best."

Souths hooker Damien Cook scoffed at suggestions Demetriou had put Mitchell and Walker on a pedestal.

"I really don't know where that's come from," he said.

"We all get special treatment where we need to.

"There've been times where I've needed to do weights earlier, get home early for my kids, there've been other times where other boys need things as well.

"We get everything done that we need to for the team first."