Last week we heard from Assistant Coach Jason Demetriou on what new signing Ethan Lowe could bring to the Rabbitohs - and this time around the man himself tells us about his first week at South Sydney.
It was a signing few expected, particularly so late into the pre-season, but Premiership-winning backrower Ethan Lowe could be the final piece of the puzzle for the Rabbitohs.
The experienced 27-year-old is a strong addition to an already formidable squad, and after a week which saw him arrive on Tuesday, train on Wednesday then play his first match in Cardinal and Myrtle on Saturday, Lowe admits he is still adjusting to life in Sydney after spending the last six seasons in North Queensland.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind week for me, but all the boys have been very helpful,” Lowe explained.
“It's a lot busier in Sydney, that’s for sure. I lived here when I was playing in the under 20s and I’ve spent a bit of time down here so I know my way around a little bit.
“It hasn’t been a really steep learning curve, it’s just the little things that I’m dealing with, such as moving house, and once I get that sorted and get settled in properly, I think I’ll be a lot better for it.”
Most Rabbitohs Members and supporters will note that Lowe’s cameo in the Charity Shield was indicative of his playing style, which is built on plenty of hard work and high involvement.
As a team, the Premiership is the first thing on our mind, and if we work hard and play hard for each other we can go very close to accomplishing that.Ethan Lowe Rabbitohs Recruit
It was immediately evident as he got stuck in amongst the play on the left-hand side of the field, nearly scoring a try, only for the final pass to be called forward.
But if you ask Lowe about his first hit-out, he’ll tell you he was just happy to get an opportunity at the Club after feeling 'stale' in North Queensland.
“It was great to be a part of a game that means so much to the Club,” Lowe explained.
“To come out with a win in my first appearance in Rabbitohs colours was outstanding.
“I was told there was a place here for me if I wanted it, and I saw it as a great opportunity to test myself to be at a Club like South Sydney. I was getting a bit stale up in Townsville and I thought a change would be really good to get me out of my comfort zone and try to improve my game.”
There appears to be an abundance of talent in the Club’s back row stocks, with John Sutton, Sam Burgess and Cameron Murray being the initial trio to occupy the spots in the second row and at lock. Not to mention, the likes of Dean Britt, Kyle Turner and Bayley Sironen will be fighting hard for opportunities as well.
But the addition of Lowe gives Head Coach Wayne Bennett a good kind of headache, allowing flexibility in the forward pack. But the newest Rabbitoh says that he is more than happy to bide his time, learn from his teammates and take on every challenge ahead of him to get a starting spot.
“I’m still learning my role here and I’ll work hard in whatever I get thrown into,” he said.
“Sam (Burgess) and ‘Sutto’ (John Sutton) have been around for a long time and are great at what they do, and young Cameron (Murray) has come through in the last few years and has been outstanding for the Club.
“I’m learning off Sammy and ‘Sutto’ and what they’ve been able to do here. Sam’s aggressive on the field and likes to lead from the front and ‘Sutto' has the skill on the edge, so if I can pick up a few of those things on the way I’ll be happy.”
One familiar face for Lowe is Jason Demetriou, who he admits was a big factor in his move to Redfern, while he also shed some light on his prior experience with Head Coach Wayne Bennett and the positives he has seen so far.
“I’ve known ‘JD’ (Jason Demetriou) from our time in Cairns with the Northern Pride and he was one of the first to convince me to come down here and he elaborated there was an opportunity. He's a great coach and I know he'll be doing great things for the Club in the future.
“I’ve spoken to Wayne Bennett before at Emerging Origin Camps here and there and it’s been great working with him so far. He’s one of the best in the business, so if I can take in some of that I’ll be better for it.”
Assistant Coach Willie Peters emphasised Lowe’s ability to not only quickly assimilate himself with the Club and its values, but also being able to work within the team's structures, and believes he will progress as a senior player within the squad.
“He has fit in really well. He’s an experienced player and he’ll be a valuable addition to our squad. He’s a really likeable guy as well and the boys have really taken him in,” Peters explained.
He gives us the flexibility to move people around or give them spells when they need it, so there’s a decision to be made down the track whether he’s starting or on the bench, but he’s certainly going to be valuable for us.Willie Peters Rabbitohs Assistant Coach
“He went well (in the Charity Shield). Obviously, it’s difficult just having one session then going in, but he’s worked with Jason Demetriou on our structures and he slotted right in. He’s an experienced guy who can come in and job and he did that on the weekend.
“He gives us the flexibility to move people around or give them spells when they need it, so there’s a decision to be made down the track whether he’s starting or on the bench, but he’s certainly going to be valuable for us.”
Speaking on his goals and ambitions for the Club, Lowe made one point clear - he has his eyes on another Premiership.
Ironically, he was a part of the North Queensland Cowboys’ Premiership-winning side in 2015 that ‘took’ the Provan-Summons Trophy from Redfern.
His priority now? To bring it back.
“As a team, the Premiership is the first thing on our mind, and if we work hard and play hard for each other we can go very close to accomplishing that.
“Personally I want to be playing consistent footy week-in-week-out and doing my best to help this team win.”