For the first time, South Sydney star Dane Gagai has broken his silence over the speculations that he wanted to quit the club, simply saying: “I will never say those words.”
It was speculated that Gagai was planning to leave the Rabbitohs last month after being pushed aside to play on the wing following the arrival of James Roberts in the middle of the season.
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The club was quick to dismiss any reports of Gagai wanting to leave after coach Wayne Bennett confronted the Queensland representative about the reports.
“I’m fully committed,” Gagai told the media.
“To be honest, I don’t know where those rumours even started. It came as a bit of a shock when Wayne pulled me into the office to have a bit of a chat about it.
“I’ve never said those words, I never will say those words.”
Gagai denies ever thinking negatively about Roberts.
“This is where he grew up, this is home and it’s good to have him back. I roomed with Jimmy in the indigenous All-Stars and he’s a bloody character,” Gagai said.
“He’s a bit of a comedian, the lad. I really enjoy having him here.”
Since switching to the wing, Gagai has gone on to score three tries in four games, an achievement he has not recorded since 2015. Gagai also stated that he prefers being involved in attack.
“I just want to get my hands on the ball. With some of the new staff that’s come here, in our attack, I’m able to do that now,” Gagai said.
“Last year we were pretty left-side dominant. We’d set up to the right and shift left and that was pretty much our game plan each week.”
Gagai went on to explain how the Rabbitohs predictability caused them to fall to the hands of the Roosters last year in the preliminary finals.
“We needed to be a lot more versatile because the Roosters shut us down in the semis and we didn’t really have a plan B,” Gagai said.
“But now with Cody (Walker) showing what he can do, he’s playing both sides of the ball. He’s put me over for a couple of tries on the right edge.”