South Sydney Rabbitohs young forward Sam Johnstone may have suffered an injury set-back in pre-season but rehabbing alongside his boyhood hero Greg Inglis has been quite the silver lining.
A Souths supporter growing up and big admirer of the Rabbitohs number one, Johnstone says the experience he is gaining alongside his idol is invaluable.
“I got injured early in the pre-season so I’ve just been running a lot,” said Johnstone.
“I haven’t been able to catch a ball or anything so I’ve just been on the sidelines with Greggy (Greg Inglis) running a fair bit and getting pretty fit, which has been good.
“I looked up to Greg when I was a kid coming through the ranks I was a Rabbitohs supporter.”
Making the step up to first team training this season after an impressive 2017 where he featured in all of Souths under 20s matchups, Johnstone is keen on improving his game right throughout the 2018 season, whether that be in first grade or in NSW Cup.
Heralding from Mackay, Johnstone has been heavily involved with junior Queensland Origin setup and has loved every moment of his participation.
“It was an amazing experience to go up there with the boys at the Brisbane camp,” said Johnstone.
“Being a Queenslander, it’s probably the highest honour you can get is to be part of the Origin squad, so I'm looking forward to hopefully being in the squad next year and being able to play.”
With the new season closing in Johnstone is realistic about his chances of making the first 17 come Round 1, but the young prop isn’t fazed by anticipation and is looking to work on his game in whatever grade he is playing in.
“I’d love to play first grade that’s the ultimate goal realistically I will need to have a good season in NSW Cup and see how I go there and if Seibs calls on me then that will be great,” he said.
“There is obviously a lot of good forwards in front of me but I’m just keen to rip into training and have a good year in NSW Cup.”