South Sydney Rabbitohs are another side that will feel very different this year to the one that we’ve become accustomed to over the last few seasons.
There is now only one Burgess brother left; Tom. Sam has retired and George is back home in Super League with Wigan Warriors.
So naturally, the pack looks very different. Burgess will be partnered in the front row by Liam Knight while Origin stars Ethan Lowe and Cameron Murray are part of the back row that begin life without Sam Burgess.
However, it is in the backs that South Sydney look stronger than ever. The signing of Latrell Mitchell is a real coup; it seems like every club was linked with him before his future was settled in and he signed for the Rabbitohs.
James Roberts is another excellent centre on Souths’ books and if he can fulfil his potential this year, he will prove to be another astute pickup after his mid-season move from the Broncos last year.
The halfbacks are as you were with Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds a classic partnership of a running threat and an organiser. They have worked together for years behind Damien Cook in the hooking role.
Souths, under the coaching of Wayne Bennett, no longer burdened by international duty, will be a threat for every other Premiership team.
Coach: Wayne Bennett
There isn’t much you can say about Wayne Bennett (above) that hasn’t already been said.
Bennett has been coaching longer than many of us have been alive and hasn’t shown any signs of stopping despite hitting 70 years of age on New Years’ Day.
Bennett has won several titles in his time but is mainly known for his work with the Broncos, but he’s also had spells with Canberra, St George and Newcastle.
Most recently, Bennett just finished a four-year spell in charge of both England and Great Britain. He has also coached Australia and Queensland.
Star Player: Latrell Mitchell
Latrell Mitchell (pictured, top)has had an offseason to remember and forget.
So much speculation has surrounded the young centre but eventually his future was sorted a few months out from the start of the season when he left the Roosters to join South Sydney.
It’s a great signing for the Rabbitohs but it’s only on a one-year deal. It’s up to Mitchell to extend that deal and he surely will force the Bunnies to do so if he shows off his immense talent that has already earned him caps for Australia and New South Wales.
Rugby League World Predicts: 3rd
First published in Rugby League World, Issue 467 (March 2020)