SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Lachlan Ilias catches a pass during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on March 21, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

South Sydney are understood to be moving to secure the services of contracted halfback Lachlan Ilias for the future.

Ilias has emerged as an astute replacement for the departed Adam Reynolds in the No.7 at Redfern, showcasing plenty of promise across his six matches so far this season.

The 21-year-old - who made his NRL debut last year - has played every minute of the Rabbitohs' season at halfback, pairing with veteran playmaker Cody Walker to form a strong halves partnership under Jason Demetriou.

Currently contracted until the end of next season, the Bunnies are reportedly looking to take Ilias' name off the open market prior to November as they plan their playmaking stocks for the long haul.

“Negotiations started on Thursday,” journalist Brent Read told Triple M this week.

“Initial talks are over a two-year extension for Ilias. Souths want to tie him down before then.

"I think they’ll get that knocked over pretty quickly. He doesn’t want to go anywhere, Souths want to keep him. They see him as their long-term halfback.”

Walker will join Ilias as an available option to rivals should he fail to recommit come the end of October, with the likes of Damien Cook and Latrell Mitchell also unsigned past 2023.

For the year ahead, Souths will need to sort the futures of Zane Bijorac, Michael Chee Kam, Josh Mansour, Taane Milne, Jaxson Paulo and Isaiah Tass - who are all currently off-contract.

Ilias will line up at halfback for the Bunnies on Saturday night as they travel to CommBank Stadium to face the Wests Tigers.