Rabbitohs.com.au takes a look back at all positions on the field in our 2015 Positional Review. Today, it’s all about the men who wear the number one jersey – the fullbacks.
A total of three players occupied the role of custodian during the 2015 season for the Rabbitohs – all of whom have played Test football for the Kangaroos – with Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker and Greg Inglis all doing the honours.
While the position undoubtedly belongs to Inglis at the Club, both Johnston and Walker deputised in fine fashion across five games throughout 2015 while Inglis was tied up with either representative duty or injury.
Meet the 2015 class of Rabbitohs fullbacks.
Famous for his post-try ‘Goanna’ celebration, Inglis has made the Rabbitohs number one jersey his own since shifting there permanently in the early stages of the 2012 season after previously being named world’s best centre.
In 2015, Inglis appeared in 20 matches, scoring eight tries while running for a total of 2910 metres with the ball in hand.
Standing 195cm tall and weighing 105 kg, Inglis would hardly look out of place in the Rabbitohs forward-pack were it not for his freakish agility and turn of pace. As a result, GI led the way in terms of tackle breaks for the Club during the regular season with 73 tackle breaks while also breaking the line on 12 occasions.
His ability to pull off the big plays was on display yet again in 2015 pulling off three try-saving tackles from the back while also playing a hand in one of the season’s best tries alongside fellow fullback, Alex Johnston.
Now in just his second year of playing the top grade, Alex Johnston again proved a valuable asset to the Rabbitohs both in his regular position on the wing, as well as a capable deputy for Inglis at fullback.
With a combination of speed to burn, vision, solid defence and the ability to find the try-line, the Souths Junior formed a formidable partnership with Inglis that saw their Round 2 try against the Roosters feature as one of the tries of the year – Johnston doing the honours by touching down.
Johnston topped the Club’s try-scoring list for the second year running with 17 tries to his name, after playing in all 25 of the Club’s matches.
Johnston ran for a total of 2448 metres with the ball in hand while making the same number of truy-saving tackles as Inglis (three).
Souths Junior, Dylan Walker, played just the one game at fullback in 2015 in the Club’s game against the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium (Round 24). While the result didn’t go the way of the men in red and green, Walker showed glimpses of potential in the position.
A combination of direct, hard-running, coupled with unbridled enthusiasm saw Walker openly admit to wanting to learn more about playing at fullback in order to effectively fill in sometime in the future.
Walker saw the bulk of his 22 appearances played in the centres, where the Test player made a total of 2350 metres with the ball in hand off 250 runs, offloading 17 times and scoring 13 tries.