The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the contract extension of international front rower Junior Tatola for a further four seasons until the end of 2028 today.
Tatola, 26, has played 132 NRL matches, all of which have been for the Rabbitohs, since making his first grade debut against the Warriors in 2018.
Tatola, Rabbitohs first grade player number 1141, has gone on to play six Test matches for Tonga since 2018, including touring with the Tongan team at last year’s Rugby League World Cup. He also won the Rabbitohs’ player of the year award, the George Piggins Medal, in 2022.
Tatola says he feels at home at South Sydney.
“I’ve got a lot of people to thank for getting me to this position where I can secure my, and my family's, future for the next five years,” Tatola said.
“Firstly, the Club, for believing in me. When I first came and made the NRL it was a big thing for me and to be able to extend for another four years is just a blessing. I’m so grateful to this Club for what they’ve done for me and for what I’ve been able to achieve here.
“I want to thank the Members and the fans. They’ve been so good to me, and this Club means a lot to me and my family. I love this Club and want to repay them and the Members by playing good footy every week.
“I’d like to thank my teammates and coaches. You are the ones that give me the confidence to go out and perform each week and I love playing and working with you all.
When I came here I was a young guy looking for direction and now I’m a dad that feels like I’m contributing to the team whilst providing for my fiancée, Shannon, and my little boy, Mateo.
"Being able to bring my little boy into the sheds and include him as part of the Souths family is really special.
“Those little moments are so big for our family and I can’t thank this Club enough for having the faith in me to represent the Rabbitohs every week.”
Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison, says Tatola has grown into one of the leading front rowers in the competition.
“Junior has worked so hard over the past six seasons to establish himself as one of the premier prop forwards in the NRL,” Mr Ellison said.
“His preparation for games is first class and his performances for his teammates on a weekly basis have made him one of the first players selected in our first grade team each week.
“We've seen him grow from a raw rookie back in 2018 to a respected player who is in calculations for State of Origin and international selection each season.
“Since coming to the Club he has become a young dad and is building a fantastic lifestyle for his young family.
“We are all very happy to have re-signed Junior for four further seasons and we look forward to watching him lead our forward pack in the years to come.”
|Date of Birth||11 October 1996|
|Place of Birth||Sydney, NSW|
|Date of Birth||11 October 1996|
|Junior Club||Holy Cross Rhinos|
|NRL and Club Debut||Rabbitohs vs Warriors, Optus Stadium, 10 March 2018 (Rd 1)|
|Rabbitohs Player No.||1141|
|NRL Games||132 (all for the Rabbitohs so far)|
|NRL Points||36 (from nine tries for the Rabbitohs)|
|Rep Honours||Six Tests for Tonga (2018-19, 2022), World Cup with Tonga (2022); Australian Schoolboys (2016)|
|Awards||George Piggins Medallist (2022)|