Last year it was Dylan Walker. This year, debutants; Apisai Koroisau, Cameron McInnes and Kyle Turner have all impressed Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire as they look to tie up spots in the top grade.
With just a handful of appearances between them, the Rabbitohs trio have shown plenty of promise with their combination of enthusiasm, confidence and calm, while providing Rabbitohs Members and supporters a glimpse of the future.
“I’ve been really impressed,” said Maguire of the trio.
“I’ve been impressed with the way they went through the pre-season and just the way they’ve gone about their development. They’ve been really professional and they bring a great deal of enthusiasm and that’s part of the joy of bringing in young guys – they’re really enthusiastic and it rubs off on those around them. Myself included.”
Turner, 22, was named in the Rabbitohs’ side to play Manly in round two, but wasn’t used during the match. But the Coonabarabran product whose roots couldn’t be any more red and green, has since gone on to be rewarded with a starting spot last week in the Men of League Heritage Round victory over the Dragons at the SCG.
“Kyle Turner’s performed extremely well and that’s why he earned himself a starting position – he’s really grown in the last couple of months,” said Maguire.
“He now understands that he really is a first-grader and that he’s very capable – as he has shown in those last couple of games.”
Koroisau, 21, and McInnes, 20, grabbed their first grade debut’s in rounds four and five respectively, following the injury of 80 minute international hooker, Issac Luke. Koroisau – already a Fijian international – stepped into Luke’s shoes following his injury, but McInnes has since also proven himself as a handy rake off the bench over the weekend.
“They’ve now shown that they can play in first grade and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t continue to be there, and continue to push others around them to keep performing,” said Maguire.
“To have two of them capable of playing hooker certainly is a positive for this team and gives us plenty of options.
“If something unfortunate happens – as it has with Issac – we have these players players – who really have earned their spot and all of them have been performing really well.”
“It’s part of what we do here at Souths with the development side of things – we train well, and when the opportunity comes up, they take it with both hands and these three boys certainly have done that so far.”