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Rabbitohs finalise coaching staff for 2022

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce their coaching ranks, from NRL through to under 17s, for the 2022 season.

Led by Rabbitohs Head Coach Jason Demetriou and Assistant Coaches Ben Hornby and John Morris, the Rabbitohs NRL squad will be supported by Development Coaches John Sutton and Joe O’Callaghan, with Steve Antonelli moving into an NRL Assistant Coach role specialising in ruck performance. Renowned Head of High Performance Travis Touma has also joined South Sydney ahead of the 2022 pre-season.

Sutton will work with the NRL squad as a Development Coach, combining that role with his position as Head Coach of the under 19s SG Ball Cup team. O’Callaghan will combine the Development Coach role with his position as Head of Elite Pathways and Player Development. Antonelli moves from the NSW Cup coaching ranks to be the Club’s assistant focusing on ruck play. Touma brings great experience working at the elite levels in Rugby League including NRL, State of Origin and International football. Touma returns to the Club for which played junior representative football before moving into training and high-performance roles at the Sydney Roosters, with the NSW Blues and Lebanon.

Demetriou will have two 300-plus NRL gamers and three coaches with International, State of Origin and Premiership-winning experience in his coaching staff, as well as a Head of High Performance in Touma that has extensive Club and Representative team experience to call on in his first season as an NRL Head Coach.

Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison, said he is excited about the calibre of people leading the Rabbitohs football department into the new season.

“We’re very happy with the calibre of coaches and staff that will be leading the Club in 2022 and beyond,” Mr Ellison said.

Jason has done a long coaching apprenticeship in the United Kingdom, Queensland Cup, New South Wales Cup and the NRL and he is certainly ready for the Head Coach role.

Mark Ellison Head of Football

“For him to be able to call on a young yet experienced group of Assistant Coaches and support staff is very important, and we couldn’t be happier with the coaching team we’ve assembled with him.

“In addition to John Morris and Ben (Hornby), John Sutton is setting out on his coaching career and knows the modern-day game inside out. He has one of the best football brains in the game and will ensure the next generation of Rabbitohs are ready to take the necessary steps up in class as they progress through their careers.

“Joe always has a wealth of knowledge in both coaching and player development and has done a fantastic job in setting up our pathways over the past three years.

“Travis is a proven leader in his field having worked with the Roosters for 14 seasons during one of their most successful eras in their Club’s history, as well as with the NSW State of Origin team, the Indigenous All Stars and the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII. He is a former player with South Sydney at the Jersey Flegg and SG Ball level and it’s great to be bringing one of our own back to the Club.

“Steve is also a very experienced coach and has done a fantastic job in making sure the fringe players in our squad were ready and raring to go when they were called upon to perform at the NRL level in 2021.

“I would also like to recognise the contribution Jarrod Wade has made to our organisation over the past five years. He joined us as our Sports Scientist and Rehabilitation Coach and progressed to become our Head of High Performance over the past three seasons. He’s done a fantastic job for our Club, and we wish him and his family all the best of the luck at the Collingwood Magpies.”

The Rabbitohs coaching ranks for 2022 are:


NRL Head Coach: Jason Demetriou
NRL Assistant Coach: Ben Hornby
NRL Assistant Coach: John Morris
NRL Assistant Coach: (ruck performance): Steve Antonelli
NRL Development Coach: John Sutton
NRL Development Coach: Joe O’Callaghan
Head of High Performance: Travis Touma


NSW Cup Head Coach: Dane Dorahy
NSW Cup Assistant Coach: Jason Dorahy

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership

Women’s Head Coach: Shane Sultana
Women’s Assistant Coach: Karen Stuart

Jersey Flegg Cup (U21s Men’s)

Jersey Flegg Cup Head Coach: Leon Latulipe
Jersey Flegg Cup Assistant Coach: Luke Deller

SG Ball Cup (U19s Men’s)

SG Ball Cup Head Coach: John Sutton
SG Ball Cup Assistant Coach: Beau Falloon

Tarsha Gale Cup (U19s Women’s)

Tarsha Gale Cup Head Coach: Karen Stuart
Tarsha Gale Cup Assistant Coach: Shane Manning

Harold Matthews Cup (U17s Boys)

Harold Matthews Cup Head Coach: Luke Deller
Harold Matthews Cup Assistant Coach: Eddie Paea

Lisa Fiaola Cup (U17s Girls)

Lisa Fiaola Cup Head Coach: Shane Manning
Lisa Fiaola Cup Assistant Coach: Jade Ferguson


Name: Jason Demetriou
Position: NRL Head Coach
Coaching Record: NRL Assistant Coach – South Sydney Rabbitohs (2019-21), NRL Assistant Coach - Brisbane Broncos (2017-18), NRL Assistant Coach - St George Illawarra Dragons (2016), Head Coach - Illawarra Cutters (2016 – NRL National State Champions, NSW ISP Premiers, NSW ISP Coach of the Year), NRL Assistant Coach - North Queensland Cowboys (2015), Head Coach - Northern Pride (2013-14 – NRL National State Champions 2014, QLD ISC Champions 2014, QLD ISC Coach of the Year 2013), Head Coach - Keighley Cougars (2011-12 – Championship 1 Premiers 2011, Championship 1 Coach of the Year 2011)
Playing Record: 243 first team games for Keighley (one game - 2011), Wakefield Trinity (187 games - 2004-10), Widnes (54 games - 2001-03), Lancashire (one game – 2000), Two games for Canada (2000)

Name: Ben Hornby
Position: NRL Assistant Coach
Coaching Record: NRL Assistant Coach (South Sydney Rabbitohs 2022-2023), Development Coach (South Sydney Rabbitohs 2020-21), NRL Assistant Coach (St George Illawarra Dragons 2015-2019), Assistant Coach (World All Stars 2016-17), NYC under 20s co-Head Coach (St George Illawarra Dragons 2014), SG Ball Head Coach (St George Illawarra Dragons 2013)
Playing Record: 273 NRL games (all for the Dragons 2000-12), One Test for Australia (2006), Three State of Origin matches for New South Wales (2004, 2006, 2008), Three games for Country Origin (2005-06, 2008), One NRL Premiership (Dragons captain - 2010).

Name: John Morris
Position: NRL Assistant Coach
Coaching Record: NRL Head Coach – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (2019-21), Under 20s Head Coach – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (2016-17 – NYC Coach of the Year 2017), Development Coach – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (2015)
Playing Record: 300 NRL games for Sharks (105 games – 2010-14), Tigers (72 games – 2007-09), Eels (92 games – 2003-06), Knights (31 games – 2001-02), Two games for Country Origin (2002-03)

Name: Steve Antonelli
Position: NRL Assistant Coach specialising in ruck performance
Coaching Record: NSW Cup Head Coach - South Sydney Rabbitohs (2021), Senior NRL Assistant Coach – Bulldogs (2018-20), NRL Assistant Coach – Raiders (2014-17), NSW Cup Head Coach – Mounties (2013-17)
Playing Record: First grade squad – Western Suburbs Magpies (1988-90), Five first grade games for Penrith Panthers (1985-88), NSW under 18s (1985), City under 18s (1985), Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union (1984), Australian Schoolboys under 17s Rugby Union (1983)

Name: John Sutton
Position: NRL Development Coach
Coaching Record: Development Coach (South Sydney Rabbitohs 2020-21), SG Ball Assistant Coach (South Sydney Rabbitohs 2021)
Playing Record: 336 NRL games (all for the Rabbitohs 2004-19), One NRL Premiership (Rabbitohs captain – 2014), Two games for City Origin (2008-09), One game for Australian Prime Minister’s XIII (2005)

Name: Joe O’Callaghan
Position: NRL Development Coach
Coaching Record:  Jersey Flegg Head Coach (South Sydney Rabbitohs 2020-21),  Head Coach (Marsden State High School 2017-18), Assistant Coach (Wynnum-Manly Seagulls 2017-18), Under 20s Head Coach (Wynnum-Manly Seagulls 2017-18), Head Coach (Northern Pride 2015-16), Assistant Coach (Northern Pride 2013-14), Assistant Coach (Australian Universities 2010-11), Assistant Coach (Queensland under 18s 2010)

Name: Travis Touma
Position: Head of High Performance
Coaching Record: Head of High Performance - Sydney Roosters (2014-2021), Head Physiotherapist - Sydney Roosters (2009-2013), Physiotherapist - Newtown Jets (2008), Performance Staff – NSW State of Origin (2015-current), Physiotherapist - Australian Prime Minister’s XIII (2012), Physiotherapist - Indigenous All Stars (2014)
Playing Record: Nine test matches for Lebanon (1998-2003), South Sydney SG Ball and Jersey Flegg (1994-95)                                            

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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