Position Battles - Fullback
With a squad of 30 players, the Rabbitohs will have a range of options when it comes to the starting 17 each and every week, and there will be plenty of competition among the squad to ensure a competitive side is fielded throughout the season. Rabbitohs.com.au will explore the depth at all positions in our Position Battles series.
Depth is a quality found throughout the entire Rabbitohs squad, with many players able to play in multiple positions, and Fullback is no different. Let’s have a look at the contenders for the number one jersey in 2018.
There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said about Greg Inglis. Truly one of the superstars of the game, his presence was sorely missed through the 2017 season, and after a lengthy stint on the sidelines, there’s no doubt that the rest of the NRL will be shaking in their boots at the sight of a rampaging ‘GI’.
Able to play Fullback, Centre or Five-Eighth at a pinch, the inclusion of GI in the squad is something that all Rabbitohs members are looking forward to.
If there was one good thing to come out of Greg Inglis’ absence last season, it was the growth of Alex Johnston as a fullback. The 22-year-old improved with every game at the back, and the experience proved that ‘AJ’ is more than capable of holding his own as a custodian, scoring 22 tries in the process.
One of the shining lights during the pre-season, rookie Jesse Arthars has impressed on the training paddock. Arriving at Redfern via Melbourne, the young Kiwi will be vying for an NRL debut at some point in 2018. Not only is he a talented fullback, but he also has great goal kicking capability, topping the NYC in points in 2016.
More Depth, More Options
While five-eighth is his main position, Cody Walker is another versatile player in the Rabbitohs squad, and has shown that he is capable of filling the number one jersey, maintaining his dangerous running game that has made him such an attacking threat of the competition.
Dane Gagai arrives at the Club after playing in the World Cup on the wing and spending most of his career in the centres, however would fill in the number one jersey in a pinch when given the chance, and has done so on multiple occasions at Club level.
It was a big surprise to many, but when Damien Cook lined up at fullback in the final round of last season, he proved that he is one of the most versatile players at the Club, and put in a great performance, setting up multiple tries and opening up the defence in a close loss. He has also played fullback previously, whilst coming through the lower grades.