Head Coach Anthony Seibold has named a 22-man squad ahead of the South Sydney Rabbitohs opening trial match of 2018 against the Wigan Warriors on Saturday.
Coach Seibold has stayed true to his promise and has given many of the young, talented players running around Redfern the opportunity to showcase their credentials against international opposition.
“We’ve got a bit of mixed team so we’ve got a little bit of experience in guys like Robbie Farah, Tom and George [Burgess], Damien Cook and Alex Johnston but they’ll only play limited minutes,” said Coach Seibold.
“So it’s a great opportunity for our younger players to play against a big physical team. If anyone watched Wigan in their first two fixture games in the Super League they would have seen a big, strong physical team.
“We’re going to have our work cut out. We’re really excited about giving our guys the opportunity.”
With plenty of the young players getting game time last week for the North Sydney Bears, Coach Seibold says that the performances of certain individuals gave him plenty of options for the Wigan match up.
“Certainly a couple of the guys pushed themselves into the group,” Coach Seibold said. “Lucky Ta’avale and Siosifa Talakai were very good as edge back rowers so they’ve pushed themselves onto the bench through their performances.
“Dean Britt as well was very good so he will get an opportunity to start,” added Seibold. “There were certainly some strong performances. Braidon Burns was another one – he’ll get half a game at centre so it was great to see the guys play the [Parramatta] Eels feeder club in Wenty and I was really pleased with what they produced last Thursday.”
The match against Wigan is bound to be physical encounter and Coach Seibold knows the boys will have their ‘work cut out’ dealing with a strong Wigan pack.
“I just love the idea that we get to play against international opposition,” he said. “To play against guys like Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai – they don’t get an opportunity to play against those guys week-in, week-out, especially some of the younger guys.
“The exposure to the high level footy is what it’s all about. It’s going to be great education for those guys. It’s going to be really physical so we’re looking forward to the guys getting out there and putting their best foot forward.”
Alex Johnston, Richard Kennar, Hymel Hunt, Robert Jennings, Campbell Graham, Adam Doueihi, Robbie Farah, Thomas Burgess, Damien Cook, Mark Nicholls, Tyrell Fuimaono, Dean Britt, Jason Clark, Connor Tracey, Lucky Ta’avale, George Burgess, Junior Tatola, Mawene Hiroti, Braidon Burns, Jacob Gagan, Siosifa Talakai, Billy Brittain.
Important information for Rabbitohs Members
As the Wigan double header is not a Rabbitohs home game Members will not be able to gain access using their membership card and will need to purchase tickets to the game. Rabbitohs Members will however, have access a 2 for 1 offer on all tickets to the game.
Rabbitohs Members will also be able to access the Members Bar on the North Western Terrace, please have your Membership card to gain access on the day.
Saturday 17 February at ANZ Stadium
Hull FC v St George Illawarra Dragons kick-off 5.45pm
Wigan Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs kick off 7.45pm
Public Transport is included with match tickets.