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I Grew Up Playing Number One: Johnston

Having shifted to the back of the field after the opening round of the season, Rabbitohs custodian Alex Johnson has relished the opportunity to gain further experience in his preferred role.

Previously having deputised Greg Inglis at times over the past two season, Johnston is looking to develop his game further and make the most of his stint at fullback.

“Obviously I’m growing into the position and improving each week and I’m trying to grow and definitely better myself each time I play.

“For me I still see myself as a younger player and still growing, so to be behind someone as great as Greg (Inglis), I find that to be a great opportunity for me.

Despite only having limited experience in the number one jersey in the top grade, the La Perouse Panther junior made a name for himself coming through the ranks as a custodian and says that he enjoys the added responsibility that comes with the job.

“I grew up playing number one and I love that position, so it’s something I’m looking forward to in the future.

“(There’s) definitely a bit more pressure at the back, but I just love getting my hands on the ball a bit more and being able to control what I do out there.

“Instead of someone passing to me, it’s me passing or running.”

Coming up against a strong North Queensland Cowboys unit led by Jonathan Thurston and strengthened by the return on Jason Taumalolo, Johnson knows that he will have his work cut out for him on Friday night.

“It’s always a challenge against them and JT (Jonathan Thurston) is probably the best in the game at the moment, so especially the back five will have a tough challenge out there with his kicks, so it’s something that I’m looking forward to.”

With Far North Queensland being ravaged by Cyclone Debbie, the Rabbitohs fullback also took a moment to send his wishes to those in the region, but also mentioned that the occurrence will not affect his side’s preparations for the clash.

“We know about the cyclone and our thoughts go out to all of the people up there, (we’re) hoping they’re all prepared for it, but obviously we’re just trying to focus on our game as well, so we’re going to be up there prepared to play some footy.” 

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