While the 21-year-old has just a singular NRL appearance to his name, Souths' assistant coach and Dragons stalwart Ben Hornby believed the Five Dock local could be wearing the number seven when the Bunnies and Broncos do battle in Round 1 next season.
Other options to partner Cody Walker in the halves include fellow 'Baby Bunnies' Dean Hawkins and Blake Taaffe, but the 2010 premiership winner suggested Ilias was the current frontrunner for the role.
“I think Lachie will probably get first crack with Deano,” Hornby said on Rabbitohs Radio.
“Lachan Ilias has a great opportunity in front of him now” Ben Hornby - The moment on #RabbitohsTV that Ben confirmed Lachy Ilias will get first crack at halfback for the Rabbitohs in 2022. https://t.co/I1u74vMoUr via @YouTube @FOXNRL
— Rabbitohs TV (@RabbitohsRadio) December 3, 2021
“He’s got a great opportunity in front of him now... he’s just a great kid, he works really hard, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone fitter.
“He’s got a great temperament to play in the halves as well, which I think is really important, so I’m looking forward to getting him out on the park and getting a few more reps into him.”
Ilias made his debut for the Rabbitohs in Round 25 of the 2021 season and crossed the chalk for the opening four-pointer of his career early in the first-half.
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) September 4, 2021
The 273-gamer also noted that while Taaffe's name had been raised, the La Perouse junior would likely stay at the back for the Bunnies during the remainder of Latrell Mitchell's suspension.
“I think Taaffe is more suited to the fullback type role, or maybe a running five-eighth role," Hornby delineated.
Hornby continued by claiming that even with new recruit Anthony Milford's contract was still to be registered by the league due to his looming assault charges, the oldest, proudest and loudest club currently had sublime coverage in the middle of the park.
“Whoever comes into that role is going to be so lucky," the Origin representative stated.
"We’ve got a lot of experience around those guys, Cody Walker, Latrell (Mitchell) at the back, Damien Cook, Cam Murray... they’re just not going to let these guys down. They’re going to make it as easy and as seamless as it can be.”
Should Hornby's prediction prove to be on the money, Ilias will face his former teammate Reynolds in the middle of Suncorp Stadium on March 11.