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2022 Rabbitohs Rumours, Signings and News


Staff member
One million reasons why Souths are so upset about Allianz Stadium opener: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/on...t-allianz-stadium-opener-20220815-p5b9vg.html

Certainly makes the blood boil. Let's go stick it to them in Round 25!!

From Zero Tackle,

NRL still undecided on Grand Final location

The NRL are still yet to make a final decision on whether the 2022 grand final will be held in Sydney or Brisbane.

While the 2021 grand final was held in Brisbane due to the COVID lockdown in Sydney and New South Wales, the NRL's long-running contract with the state government in New South Wales was supposed to move the biggest game of the season back to Homebush this year.

However, part of that contract suggested that the state government were supposed to stick to upgrades for stadiums.

Originally, money was to be poured into Homebush, however, that was eventually replaced by the idea of upgrading suburban stadiums.

While Penrith has been rubber stamped for a completely new venue, the other funding for other venues at Manly, Leichhardt and Cronulla has been held back by the state government on account of recent floods impacting the overall budget situation.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys went on a media tirade a few weeks ago against the government decision, suggesting the grand final could be moved to Brisbane as a result of the funding being withdrawn.

He has now revealed the decision is still yet to be made, telling AAP that the NRL are in contact with both state governments and have deferred a decision to the end of the week, despite the fact the regular season now only has three weeks to run and tickets would normally be well and truly on sale by now.

"The commission has deferred the decision but it will be made by the end of this week," ARL Commission chair Peter V'landys told AAP on Tuesday.

"We're in good discussions with both the NSW and Queensland government.

"We'll go through all the information and all the details, and then we'll make a decision.

"It's a big deal for us, and it's commercially one of our big-ticket items."

V'Landys revealed forward progress has been made with the New South Wales government, however, it remains unclear if under the contract with the government whether the NRL could strip the state of the grand final without facing ramifications of their own.


Staff member
Dragons five making most of second chance under Demetriou: https://www.nrl.com/news/2022/08/16/dragons-five-making-most-of-second-chance-under-demetriou/

Also, from the Daily Telegraph, this is a fantastic read. What a story,

NRL news: Izaac Thompson’s journey from a holding cell to South Sydney debut

This is the incredible redemption story which started with a literal line-in-the-sand moment in a holding cell. DAVID RICCIO reveals how Izaac Thompson recovered to become an NRL player.

South Sydney winger Izaac Thompson sat inside a holding cell of the Surry Hills Police Station.

He’d been arrested before. Once when he was 18, then at 20 and this time at 23.

It was two years ago that South Sydney’s greatest comeback story sat drawing an imaginary line into the concrete cell floor.

Weighing 140kg at the time and without any interest in playing, let alone watching rugby league anymore, the line represented his life.

On one side, the good. His four-year-daughter, Nirvana. The other side, the bad and the path of destruction he was heading down.

The crimes, that talking to The Sunday Telegraph, Thompson is too embarrassed to divulge, were adding up.

“I would always be bailed out, but the thing was, the last time that I was arrested, there was the possibility that I could go away (to jail),’’ Thompson said.

“That’s what my lawyer said.’’

Thompson, 25, knew that meant one thing. Living a life without his baby girl.

“I was sitting in the holding cell and that hit me the most. Just being there,’’ Thompson said. “It’s just you in there. And you think about all the shit that you have done.

“It hit me. I was emotional. I could feel a shift in me that I needed to do something different to change this.

“Because if I had got arrested before, I was okay, because I didn’t have anything to really care about.

“But now, with my daughter being in my life, it really hit home. I won’t say what I did. I’m just so lucky.

“The feeling of being away from my daughter and my partner (CJ) at the time, that was what killed me.

“And I told myself, if I didn’t go inside (jail), I wanted to only do good in my life. I wanted to cut every bad influence off.

“I wanted to make an honest living and stay out of trouble.

“I asked myself, is this what I am doing? Is this where I want to be?

“Do I really want this for my daughter? Do I really want this for my family? Because they’re the ones that are going to come and see me, if I do go to prison.’’

Thompson, a state-level high jumper as a teenager and St George-Illawarra rising star though the juniors, had arrived in Australia from New Zealand when he was 12.

He attended Endeavour Sports High and represented NSW in the under-16’s as a powerful winger.

But after progressing through the Dragons SG Ball side, alongside current NRL players Addin Fonua-Blake, Matt Dufty, Jacob Host and Hame Sele, and the NSW Cup Illawarra Cutters team under Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou and his assistant Ben Hornby, Thompson suddenly quit rugby league four years ago.

“I fell out of love with it in my 20s,’’ Thompson said. “I didn’t want to do it anymore.’’

Leaving the police station halfway through 2020, Thompson made a decision to change.

However, the redemption story had nothing to do with playing NRL, or even football.

“All I wanted to do was make an honest living and stay out of trouble,’’ Thompson said. “I went and got a 9-5 job working at a factory. Not long after that, the call came from JD (Demetriou). He saved my life.’’

After South Sydney had a train-and-trial contract approved by the NRL Integrity Unit, Sele told Thompson that Demetriou had been asking what he had been up to, and whether he would consider playing again.

Demetriou had coached the hard-running winger at the Cutters.

“I pretty much laughed in Hame’s face because I never wanted to go back to football,’’ Thompson said. “I hated football.

“I told Hame, I don’t know if I want to do it. “He just said, have a think about it.

“I had a meeting with JD and he asked if I had trained and I was like, ‘Yeah’ and I reckon next to me was a (KFC) Zinger box. But from that moment, I switched on.

“I couldn’t even run. I had to walk first.

“I had to change my mentality from what I was doing to be a professional athlete again.

“At the factory and formwork sites I was at, all they ate was kebabs and across the road was KFC. It was tempting.

“I just kept thinking about the bigger picture.’’

When Demetriou explains why he has never been more emotional to hand out an NRL debut than when Thompson ran out in first grade for the first time against the Warriors last weekend, this is why.

“I didn’t even have a gym membership,’’ Thompson said. “We have a hill at our house. I couldn’t run 100 metres up that hill.

“That’s how it began. I walked up and down that thing. It was the worst.

“I remember the first day I walked up it, I then couldn’t walk it again for three days. In my head, I thought how am I ever going to do this. The coach has called, I’ve lied to him about being fit and now I can’t even get up a hill.

“But I just stuck with it. I didn’t want to give up. My main motivation was my daughter. She would always watch me from the top of the hill.’’

Not proud to say it, but Thompson starved himself to lose weight.

“I tried intermittent fasting, or one meal a day,’’ Thompson said. “I knew it wasn’t healthy, but I had too.

“I would have no breakfast and eat around dinner time. I would just repeat that all the time. I lost 30kg in four months. I got down to 110kg.’’

Thompson had reached his weight goal and was ready to commence his $1,000 week train and trial contract.

Or so he thought. A scan of his body on his first day revealed he had suffered a torn pectoral, which dated back to his playing days.

The scar tissue would make it difficult to repair.

“That was hard to hear because I had done all the hard work,’’ Thompson said. “Then I saw a specialist who said he would do it.

“Then not long after that, because I was mainly off to the side at training doing fitness the whole time, I suffered a stress fracture in my foot.

“That wiped me out for all of 2021.”

Refusing to give up, Thompson recovered to achieve his rugby league comeback in round one of the NSW Cup.

In 16 games for the Rabbitohs reserve grade side this season, Thompson scored 20 tries.

Demetriou had seen enough, holding back tears as the 102kg force ran out for the first time in the NRL against the Warriors.

“I always had belief in Izaac’s talent and that if he was committed he would benefit from the belief and support to get the best out of him within our club,’’ Demetriou said.

“To see him in first grade, it’s about as emotional as I’ve ever been for a debutant.’’

The arrests, the holding cell, the hill, the surgery, all of it for Nirvana, was worth it.

“I’ve come a long way. I’m proud of myself. I don’t usually say that. But where I’ve come, I am,’’ Thompson said. “This is the beginning for me.

“I want to play regular first grade, that’s my goal.’’


Staff member


Staff member
From the Daily Telegraph,

NRL news: South Sydney Rabbitohs edging closer to return to Allianz Stadium from 2023​

The Rabbitohs could make a historic move to Allianz Stadium from next season – but the shift may come at a cost to the club.

Latrell Mitchell and his star-studded South Sydney side could make a historic move to Allianz Stadium from next season – but the club may face some financial stress.

Souths have been told a shift east won’t be at the expense of the NSW taxpayer.

An emergency meeting between South Sydney CEO Blake Solly, club chief commercial officer Shannon Donato and NSW Sports Minister Alister Henskens on Wednesday tried to solve a dispute over where the club would play home games from 2023.

Without an upgrade to Accor Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, Souths want to leave their home ground in Sydney’s west for 16 years and return to the newly rebuilt $830m Allianz Stadium, located at Moore Park near the Rabbitohs’ traditional heartland.

News Corp has been told Henskens indicated at the meeting he was open to the possibility of Souths shifting to Allianz Stadium, provided it didn’t cost the taxpayer.

Souths have a lucrative deal to play at Accor Stadium but can expect an inferior financial contract at Allianz Stadium.

If Souths believe they can absorb the difference, the club may pursue a shift.

Souths hope any gap would be minimal — if the difference is significant, the club would look to remain at Accor Stadium.

“We had a really good meeting with Minister Henskens. It was great to get a direct audience with him and explain our position,” Solly said.

“As we have always said, we are not trying to be unreasonable in all of this — we just want the best solution for our fans and members. I think the Minister understood that and we will keep talking over the next few weeks.

“All options are still on the table.”

At the meeting, held inside Henskens’ Martin Place offices, the club requested an update on the possibility of an upgrade to the lower bowl and corporate suites at Accor Stadium.

Despite having a contract to remain at Accor Stadium until 2030, Solly previously said the cancelled $800m redevelopment of the venue, due to Covid, would allow Souths to walk away from the deal and seek a new home at Allianz Stadium.

Any refurbishment in coming seasons would not be worth the $800m initially promised.

Souths coach Jason Demetriou — and the club’s high-profile playing group – have expressed a desire to move to Allianz Stadium.

Solly said last week the State Government was thwarting their proposed move back to Souths’ geographic heartland — a claim which attracted an angry rebuke from Henskens.

Henskens said Souths agreed a new contract extension at Accor Stadium in November last year and it was signed after funding for a redevelopment had been axed.

Expressing his anger at Souths running a campaign through The Daily Telegraph last week, Henskens said: “What I won’t do…I will not be railroaded into making commercial decisions through media pressure being placed on the Government.”

More than 75 per cent of 1000 respondents in a Daily Telegraph poll voted in favour of Souths being allowed back to Moore Park.


Tough loss

Team for next week and a must win

Milne/ mansour/ Thompson


18th man nichollas


If J. Paulo is off contract for next season, I won't be surprised if we see him in a Roosters jersey next year.