Transforming players into leaders is high on the agenda at the Rabbitohs, and centre, Kirisome Auva’a is taking that transformation to heart.
Now on the cusp of his third year in the top grade at the Club, the 23 year old feels obliged to lead by example both on and off the field as more fresh faces arrive at Redfern.
“It feels like I’ve been here for a while now, being a third year player – when you get to that stage I think that means you have more responsibility,” said Auva’a.
“With a whole bunch of younger boys around too, it’s an opportunity for the more experienced guys in the team to step up and lead the way on and off the field.
“It’s not just about training. We do a lot of community work including for Souths Cares – that’s part of what we do at Souths and it’s something I’m passionate about. So if we can set a good example for the young boys coming through, we’ll be on the right track.”
In June this year, Auva’a achieved his goal of cycling from Sydney to Wollongong, supported by Rabbitohs coaches and staff, in an attempt to raise money for two fantastic causes.
Cycling alongside Assistant Coaches; Kurt Wrigley and Wayne Collins, Football Analyst Leigh Richardson and Welfare and Education Manager Rob Capizzi on the trip, the centre raised money for Project Futures and the Stella Fella campaign, as well as Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. Auva’a is looking forward to doing more of the same in the coming year.
But for now, it’s all about preparation for 2016, with the 100kg flyer happy to return to training last week in preparation for the Club’s new campaign.
“It’s been a long offseason, so I’ve been looking forward to getting back” said Auva’a.
“It’s great to get some time off to enjoy yourself, but I’ve also been looking to make sure I come back in good shape. Now is the time to be putting in the hard work and that’s what I’m going to do.
“Everyone’s got their own goals for pre-season. My goal is to shed a few kilos and be a lot fitter than I was this year.
“I managed to get a few games at the back end of 2015, but I know that I’ve got a lot of work to do.
“I had a fair bit of time off, and also had back surgery so I think it took me a little while to get my rhythm back – there’s obviously still a lot more I want to do though. It’s all about bettering myself and improving on last year’s performances.”