Position Battles - Hooker

Position Battles - Hooker

In this instalment of Position Battles, we take a look at the options at dummy half – the hookers. With a number of players able to wear the no.9 jersey, all with their own unique strengths and attributes, Head Coach Anthony Seibold will have a number of options at his disposal come Round One.

Billy Brittain

Few may have heard of Billy Brittain before he arrived at Redfern late last year, but the young rake has quite a pedigree. While his father Craig was an Aussie Rules player in his prime, Billy himself played rugby union as a youngster, representing the Australian Schoolboys back in 2011 before making the switch to Rugby League, where he made his way through the Melbourne Storm system.

After captaining the Norths Devils Intrust Super Cup side over the last couple of years, Brittain has shown leadership skills at a young age, and is a clever player who will by vying for a spot in the top 17 throughout the season.

Damien Cook

Damien Cook will be looking to carry over his late season form and cement his spot as the Rabbitohs' first choice hooker in 2018. In his second season with the Club, Cook finished off the year playing all but one match, while averaging 24 tackles per game and an 89% tackle efficiency in a campaign which saw him in the starting side, on the bench and even playing at fullback. 

What really makes Cook shine is his acceleration, which along with his speed makes him a danger running out of dummy half. His dynamic style of play helped to create plenty of opportunities for his outside men, and proved to complement his halves as well. 

With a background of playing in the halves and fullback, Cook has also proved to be one of the most versatile players in the squad.

Robbie Farah

Coming off a successful Rugby League World Cup campaign with Lebanon, Robbie Farah now has his sights set on the making the finals with the Rabbitohs in 2018.

Going into his sixteenth season in the NRL, the Australian Kangaroos and NSW Blues representative showed no signs of slowing down in his first year at the Club, playing in all 24 Club matches, forcing five drop outs, as well as producing five try assists and 11 linebreak assists.

With a squad filled with plenty of youth, Farah’s experience and influence will be invaluable for the development of his younger teammates, particularly the ones who will be looking to make the hooker position their own in the future.

While Damien Cook is a more dynamic style of hooker, Farah has a more calculated and controlling approach to his game, which is particularly handy at the back end of tight matches.

Jesse Martin

Although he made a name for himself in the NYC competition in the back row, young Jesse Martin is right at home in at dummy half too.

The captain of the NYC Premiership winning Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles side from 2017, Martin is able to transfer his hard work ethic and robust style of play from his home in the back row to hooker.

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