The centre-pairing of Dylan Walker and Kirisome Auva’a will be back in action this Friday night when the Rabbitohs take on the Bulldogs in Round 24 of the NRL Premiership.
Auva’a made a successful return to the field against the Cowboys last week – the centre showing plenty of enthusiasm and aggression in his return match.
For Walker – who developed a brilliant combination with Auva’a towards the back-end of the 2014 season – having the centre’s unique exuberance beside him on the field lifted himself and the team.
“I like to see ‘Sommi’ like that,” said Walker.
“He’s a great part of this team and he shows that much passion. The love that he has for this game – he really expresses that.
“He’s a character around training – just to see ‘Sommi’ in the great head-space that he is now, it’s awesome.”
Auva’a made a total of 91 metres with the ball in hand and wreaked havoc in defence with 12 aggressive tackles against the Cowboys. And it wasn’t just Walker who was pleased to have the man nick-named ‘Sommi’ back in the team – forward Tim Grant also impressed by his addition.
“He’s put a lot into this team just on the training field and away as well, and he’s done a lot of community work and that sort of stuff,” said Grant.
“It was the first time I got the chance to play with Sommi on the weekend and it was a good experience. He brings a lot of aggression and excitement and energy, so he’s a great addition.”
The Rabbitohs will take on a resurgent Bulldogs outfit fighting to keep their place in the top eight. The Dogs took a step in the right direction last week when they downed the Gold Coast Titans 36-14 in a dominant display by the blue and white forwards.
“Everyone knows they’ve got a big pack, skilful halves and great outside backs,” said Walker of Canterbury.
“They’re a great team and they have been for a very long time – we really have to be on our game