Rabbitohs and Kiwi hooker, Issac Luke, was among the Club’s international contingent returning to Redfern this week to begin their preparations for the 2015 season.
Luke played an integral role for New Zealand in their historic Four Nations win over Australia in November – his service from dummy-half coupled with opportunistic running laying the platform for the black and whites.
But while Luke’s first week back on the paddock has been one of high temperatures, hard slogs and even higher standards, Luke told Rabbitohs.com.au that his return has been an enjoyable one.
“It’s been great to be back after such a good break,” said Luke.
“I think we got plenty of rest so now that we’re back on the run and into our training, it feels really good to be back here and getting ready for another season at Souths.”
“There are a lot of routines and habits that you have to get back into after a break and that’s what I’m doing right now – the other boys who played Four Nations would probably be the same I think, but we’re training hard – one week down now.”
But even more exciting for the hooker is the addition of new faces to the Rabbitohs 2015 squad, with a mixture of experience and youth punctuating Head Coach Michael Maguire’s side.
“There’s a lot of experience that’s come into this team now,” said Luke.
“Tim Grant and Glenn Stewart are great and we’ve also got a lot of young fellas who are going really good too.
“Guys like Dylan Walker as well – who are still really young – are slowly becoming leaders now, so it’s pretty awesome to see that.”
Luke will be preparing for a big 2015, having appeared in 18 matches during the 2014 season and kicking five goals for 10 points.
Luke’s high work-rate made him one of the side’s top performers on a weekly basis with an average of 27.8 tackles per match, while also averaging 104.9 metres from dummy half. The hooker also showed his strength by making 43 tackle-breaks and 18 offloads during the course of the 2014 season.