BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Cody Walker of the Rabbitohs celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Manly Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium on September 24, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

They're the closest mates off the footy field, but on Sunday afternoon, Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell will line up opposing one another, just as they did in their NRL debuts.

The South Sydney superstars made their NRL debuts in the same clash - a Round 1, 2016 match between the Roosters and Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium, pitting an 18 year-old winger named Latrell against a 26 year-old debutant five-eighth, standing in for the suspended Luke Keary.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters is tackled during the round six NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on April 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Walker got the chocolates in his first NRL game, securing a 42-16 season-opening victory, in the only year that's seen both foundation clubs miss the finals over the last decade.

The pair will reignite on opposite sides of the field on Sunday, as the duo run out in the Koori Knockout in Nowra. Mitchell is representing the Walgett Aboriginal Connection, while Walker has elected the Bunjalung Baygal Warriors as his side for the annual tournament.

Latrell will enter with the advantage, joined by co-stars Joel Thompson, George Rose and Ben Barba in a Walgett jersey.

The biggest absentee of the weekend has been Mitchell's reported rib cartilage injury, which he allegedly received pre-game and half-time pain-killing injections to manage during their preliminary final loss to the Penrith Panthers.

While Mal Meninga will have his heart in his mouth as his superstar left centre risks hurting himself a fortnight before the World Cup, the Rabbitohs are backing the pair's decision to play in the tournament.

“Absolutely we are,” CEO Blake Solly told The Daily Telegraph.

“We're really supportive of all our guys playing because it's a wonderful and important tournament for the Indigenous community.”

There's sure to be a few barbs and jabs traded through gritted grins as friend becomes foe, and the Rabbitohs' team mates turn rivals for the afternoon.