The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the signing and re-signing of five exciting young prospects on extended contracts, bolstering the Club’s depth with a view to future NRL debuts.
Outside backs Zane Bijorac and Leon Te Hau have been signed to full-time contracts in 2022 with Ben Lovett, Tyrone Munro and Jaxson Rahme signing with the Club to progress their development through the Club’s pathways program.
Bijorac, 20, is a centre or winger that has progressed through South Sydney’s Black Rabbits Elite Player Development program to earn a top 30 contract in 2022. He played in both the Jersey Flegg under 21s and NSW Cup open age competitions in 2021, having started with the Rabbitohs in 2019. Zane is a powerful ball runner and a strong defender that trained with South Sydney’s NRL squad over the 2021 pre-season.
Te Hau, 18, is a fullback or winger that was identified through the Rabbitohs’ South-East Queensland Elite Player Development Satellite program in 2021. He has signed with the Club until the end of the 2024 season, starting on a development contract and progressing to a top 30 contract in the final two years of the agreement. Te Hau was named as the Queensland under 18s fullback earlier this year and is in line for selection in the Australian Schoolboys side to be named later in 2021.
Lovett, 19, has been re-signed for a further two seasons after two years in the Club’s pathways program and a strong Jersey Flegg season in 2021. A hard-working second rower, Lovett will continue in the Black Rabbits Elite Player Development program next year before going full time with a development contract in 2023.
Munro, 16, is a highly talented centre that was awarded South Sydney’s Harold Matthews Cup under 17s player of the year award in 2021. A South Sydney junior from the Botany Rams club, Munro represented the NSW Combined High Schools in 2021 despite having another year of schooling to go in 2022. Munro has re-signed with the Rabbitohs until the end of 2024.
Rahme, 17, is a middle forward that has committed to the Rabbitohs for the next two seasons. Rahme won the most valuable player award for NSW Combined Catholic Colleges this year and is in line for selection in the Australian Schoolboys squad to be announced later this year. He joins the Rabbitohs from the Balmain Tigers junior representative system, also having captained his school side, Holy Cross Ryde, in the 2021 GIO Schoolboys Cup.
Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison, says these five young players have the opportunity to progress as footballers and as young men at the Rabbitohs.
“We’re really excited to have secured the services of Zane, Leon, Ben, Tyrone and Jaxson. They are all considered elite players in their age groups and, with hard work, they will get the opportunity to progress their growth as footballers and as young men in our programs and systems,” Mr Ellison said.
“Zane, Ben and Tyrone have all benefitted from coming through our Black Rabbits program here in Sydney, as did Leon through the South-East Queensland program. These programs are managed, as is our whole pathways program, by our Head of Elite Pathways and Player Development, Joe O’Callaghan, and these programs are developing some fantastic young players in both our men’s and women’s squads.
“We’re also looking forward to having Jaxson join our ranks after a stellar National Schoolboys tournament. Again, with hard work, they will all have the chance to put their best foot forward at South Sydney.
“These five emerging players join a strong group of young men at our Club such as Blake Taaffe, Peter Mamouzelos, Davvy Moale, Lachlan Ilias, Josiah Karapani, Tallis Duncan and Thomas Fletcher as young players to have committed to us long term and we’ve seen the opportunities that have been earned by Blake, Pete and Davvy in the NRL this year already.
“We look forward to seeing their progress over the coming seasons.”
The Rabbitohs will have further announcements about young, up-and-coming players who have committed to the Club in the coming weeks.
Name: Zane Bijorac
Date of Birth: 15 February 2001
Place of Birth: Queanbeyan, NSW
Position: Centre, wing
Junior Club: Queanbeyan Blues
Rep Honours: NSW Country under 18s; European under 19s merit team
Name: Leon Te Hau
Date of Birth: 6 August 2003
Place of Birth: Logan, QLD
Position: Fullback, wing
Junior Club: Wynnum Manly Seagulls, Marsden State High School
Rep Honours: Queensland Schoolboys under 18s, Met East under 18s, Queensland City under 16s, South-east Queensland Junior Reps, Brisbane Stingers Junior Reps
Name: Ben Lovett
Date of Birth: 7 December 2001
Place of Birth: Parkes, NSW
Position: Second row
Junior Club: Parkes Spacemen
Rep Honours: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges under 18s (2019), NSW Country Tour of England (2019)
Awards: Western Rams Player of the Year (2019), Group 11 Junior Player of the Year (2019)
Name: Tyrone Munro
Date of Birth: 26 December 2004
Place of Birth: Moree, NSW
Junior Club: Botany Rams
Rep Honours: NSW Combined High Schools under 18s (2021)
Awards: South Sydney Harold Matthews Cup Best and Fairest Player (2021)
Name: Jaxson Rahme
Date of Birth: 4 December 2003
Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW
Position: Prop, lock
Junior Club: Dundas Shamrocks, Holy Cross Ryde
Rep Honours: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges under 18s (2021)
Awards: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges under 18s most valuable player (2021)