The past few months have been quite the roller coaster ride for Lucky Kenneth Ta'avale.
After earning himself a contract extension through to the end of the 2019 season, he is also training with the South Sydney Rabbitohs first grade squad.
At just 19 years of age, Samoan-born Ta'avale adds versatility and depth across the forward pack. The Browns Plains Bears junior is adept at playing prop, lock and second row.
When quizzed on which position he prefers, he remained humble and modest. “Wherever the coach wants to put me pretty much, I just try my best.”
Despite the frustration of sitting out a number of games of the Under 20s’ 2017 campaign through injury, the teenage forward finished the season strongly. His performances earned himself a contract extension and the chance to train with the first grade squad alongside fellow Under 20s teammates Mawene Hiroti, Ky Rodwell, and Campbell Graham.
Ta’avale believes that experience has been beneficial to his development. “It makes you more competitive, training hard each day trying to better yourself - learning off the older boys as well and competing with the under 20s boys that come up,” he added.
This has been invaluable to Ta'avale as he studies the likes of John Sutton, Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis. “It’s a dream come true being in the same locker room as those guys, training with them, and learning off them mostly. Just grateful to be here.”
That dream has now become a reality for the man known as ‘Lux’ as he looks to make the most of his first preseason training with the first grade squad.
“Pretty much just don’t let the day go by or go to waste, make every day count, just train hard and do everything right.”
With the right attitude and a willingness to learn, Ta'avale is doing everything to put his best foot forward for Head Coach Anthony Seibold.
However, modest as always, he refuses to get too far ahead of himself. “Hopefully to debut, get a game for Souths. Just keep chipping away and hopefully get that next spot in the first grade team.”