Representative duties kicked off early in 2016 for some of your Rabbitohs as we had three players selected in the NRL All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium!
A total of three Rabbitohs players represented in the 2016 instalment of the Harvey Norman All Stars match at Suncorp Stadium on February 13th, with Thomas Burgess and Adam Reynolds representing the newly-formed World All Stars, while Greg Inglis had the honour of captaining the Indigenous side.
Some of the game’s best players came together as the electric looking Indigenous All Stars, consisting of the likes of Inglis, Edrick Lee, James Roberts, Dane Gagai and Ben Barba, faced off against players such as Ryan Hoffman, Gareth Widdop and Josh Morris.
The trio of Rabbitohs had been in camp for a week in preparation for the event which celebrates Indigenous culture, the contribution of Indigenous men and women to the game of Rugby League, but also – among other things – draws attention to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
For Rabbitohs and World All Stars halfback, Adam Reynolds, it was a special clash considering his upbringing in the strongly Indigenous community of Redfern, but also because his partner, Tallara, is also of Indigenous heritage.
"I learnt a lot about the Indigenous community (growing up in Redfern) and my partner and my three kids are Aboriginal so there's a bit of rivalry there this week with us two," said Reynolds.
"My partner and two of the kids have been to Indigenous courses and are learning how to speak the language and learning a bit about the past.
"It's always good to remember where you come from and how proud they are of it.
"I try and get involved and support my missus and the kids. Obviously they are proud of what they are doing like I am about my football. They support me so any time I can get in and learn with them as well is a good time."
The clash was also an opportunity for Rabbitohs skipper, Inglis, to lead the Indigenous side - which he did so with a heart full of pride.
Indigenous All Stars and New South Wales coach Laurie Daley spoke about GI's capacity as a leader in the lead-up to the event.
"As you get older and as you play more footy you understand what a leader looks like and what you want to get out of the game," said Daley.
"He's really vocal around the group and is a guy that has got a lot of respect out there.
"He's one of those guys that when he talks everyone listens and that's good because he's developed into a really good leader and someone that the guys really enjoy playing with."