Former Rabbitohs and Sharks fire-brand forward, Les ‘Bundy’ Davidson, is expecting a sea of red and green at Allianz Stadium this Sunday afternoon when his two former clubs go head to head in Week 1 of the Finals.
The former international, who made his first grade debut with South Sydney in the 80s before shifting to the Sharks in the early 90s, spoke to Rabbitohs.com.au about what he is certain will be a favourable crowd for the men in red and green.
“Well it’s certainly Souths territory,” said Davidson of the game’s venue – Allianz Stadium.
“I know during my time, there was only one kind of Souths supporter and that was a ‘mad’ one, and I still see a lot of those people getting to those games now.
“I think the boys will get a big kick out of all that support at the Stadium – it’s more or less around the corner from Redfern Oval so there’ll be plenty of Souths supporters. For sure playing there Souths will have an advantage.”
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Davidson, a feared forward during his time in the top grade, played 111 games for the Rabbitohs between 1984 and 1990, before going on to play 133 games for Cronulla between 1991 and 1998 – the forward appearing for Cronulla in the only ever Super League Grand Final in 1997.
Since retiring in 1998, the Dubbo product has watched the game as an intrigued spectator, and is looking forward to an exciting clash come Sunday between his former clubs.
“I think it’s going to be a great game,” said Davidson.
“Both teams are coming off losses in the last round so I think it’s all about feeling fresh. It doesn’t take much to do that either, so I think if they’re feeling fresh and they come out and play their natural game, Souths can come up with a win.
“Cronulla’s a good side who play a different brand of footy to Souths, so if the boys can stay focused on their own game, it’ll go a long way to getting the points.”
After making his mark for Souths following his debut in 1984, Davidson was chosen for the 1986 Kangaroo tour, playing in 14 matches, including the Third Test against Great Britain (as a reserve), as well as two Tests against France.
In 1987 he played in all four State of Origin matches (one in the USA), was chosen in the one-off Test against NZ in Brisbane and was named ‘Dally M’ Player's Player of the Year’.
But were it not for the unlikeliest of talent scouts, Davidson may not have ever come to Sydney in the first place.
“I was a kid playing in the bush, but I always felt that I’d come to Sydney to play,” admitted Davidson.
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“I played for Dubbo-Wests in a Grand Final at around 18 years old, and the guy who used to be Reggie Rabbit was there at the game – he was the first person to speak to me about coming to Sydney.
“In the end it didn’t take too much arm-twisting to get me to come to Souths – I enjoyed the style of play.
“It was pretty fiery in those days so it was a big step up, but that’s how the game was played back then.
“We had a couple of fiery forwards in Tony and Dean Rampling for me to learn from and I roomed with them, so I think I was just following their lead.
“They were a pretty good influence on me – at training, Dean was a mad weights man and Tony was more about fitness, so I got the best of both worlds being around them.
“They get me to a really peak level and by game-day, we were just ripping into it.”
Davidson remembers his time at the Rabbitohs fondly and will be watching this Sunday’s clash with interest.
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