Rabbitohs sign young talent from rugby union ranks

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are excited to announce the signing of two of the country’s top young rugby union talents with outside back Joseph Suaalii signing until the end of the 2021 season and utility back Lachlan Ilias signing until the end of the 2020 season.

Suaalii, 15, is currently playing with the South Sydney Harold Matthews Cup under 16s squad, his second season at this level in the South Sydney junior representative system. He has represented at age group level in a number of sports including Rugby League, australian rules, rugby union, basketball and athletics.

We believe Joseph and Lachlan have long and fruitful NRL careers in front of them.

Shane RichardsonGeneral Manager of Football

Suaalii plays 1st XV rugby for The Kings School, something he achieved last year as a 14-year-old. He also played GPS 1st XV rugby in 2018 as well as the Combined States side at the Australian Schools Championships at just 14 years of age. He played for the New South Wales Schoolboys Sevens and Australian under 18s Sevens Rugby teams as a 15-year-old, and has had the opportunity to train with the Australian Men’s Sevens Rugby team in 2019.

Rugby union officials were touting Suaalii to play for the Australian Wallabies before leaving school, however Suaalii has elected to follow his passion for Rugby League by signing with the Rabbitohs for the next three years ahead of other interested parties.

Ilias, 18, was an Australian Schoolboys rugby union representative in 2018 as well as representing Australia in Youth 7s. He also represented New South Wales in Schoolboys and Youth 7s teams, played CAS 1st XV rugby for two years and Trinity Grammar 1st XV rugby for three years. Ilias played for the NSW under 16s Rugby League team for two years as well as with the Balmain Tigers junior representative squads, and has now joined the Rabbitohs’ Jersey Flegg under 20s team.

Rabbitohs General Manager of Football, Shane Richardson, says these two young men are quality footballers.

It’s exciting to see young talent like Joseph and Lachlan in the red and green, showing the Rabbitohs are the club of choice for young talent in our game and young players from other codes, and I’m sure our Members will also enjoy watching them progress through the years.

Shane RichardsonGeneral Manager of Football

“We believe Joseph and Lachlan have long and fruitful NRL careers in front of them,” Mr Richardson said.

“Joseph has the body shape and skill levels that extend well beyond his years, but most importantly, he has a desire to achieve everything he can in Rugby League through hard work and persistence.

“Lachlan has shown he can play just about anywhere in the backline and we can see him developing into an NRL quality player in time through our Pathways system.

“It’s exciting to see young talent like Joseph and Lachlan in the red and green, showing the Rabbitohs are the club of choice for young talent in our game and young players from other codes, and I’m sure our Members will also enjoy watching them progress through the years.”

Name: Joseph Suaalii
Date of Birth: 1 August 2003
Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW
Height: 193cm
Weight: 94kg
Position: Fullback, wing
Junior Club: Glenmore Park
Rep Honours: Rugby Union: Australian Schoolboys Sevens (2018); NSW Schoolboys Sevens (2018); NSW Generation Blue U16s (2018); GPS 1st XV (2018); The Kings School 1st XV (2018)
Name: Lachlan Ilias
Date of Birth: 9 May 2000
Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW
Height: 184cm
Weight: 84kg
Position: Utility Back
Junior Club: Leichhardt Wanderers 
Rep Honours: Rugby Union: Australian Schoolboys (2018); Australian Youth Sevens (2018); NSW Schoolboys (2017-18); NSW Youth Sevens (2017); CAS 1st XV (2017-18); Trinity Gammar 1st XV (2016-18)
Rugby League:NSW under 16s (2016); Balmain Tigers SG Ball (2017-18); Balmain Tigers Harold Matthews (2016)

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