They're supposed to be rivals in 2022, however Lachlan Ilias has revealed his biggest supporter is currently wearing another club's colours.
Adam Reynolds took Ilias under his wing when he joined the Rabbitohs, and even though they are now just opposition halves to one another, it doesn't mean Reynolds has stepped out of the youngster's corner.
Regardless of how well Ilias has played in patches this year, his biggest storyline in his maiden full first-grade season will be his Round 15 hooking less than half an hour into the contest, the Dragons already running in half a dozen tries by that point of the match.
“Reyno has been really supportive this whole season. Through the ups and downs, Reyno is Reyno … he is a really good bloke. He’s experienced it all. He made sure I was OK and said to stay positive" Ilias told The Daily Telegraph.
“I was really close to him last year and we still message each other all the time.
“If something happens good or bad he is there with messages of support.
“Obviously in previous seasons I spent a lot of time learning from him and this season he has been really good to me. He is massive in my development.”
You couldn't blame Ilias for being concerned over losing his spot in the side permanently, though credits the move as the kick in the backside he needed.
“There was a bit of the unknown, wondering what it means … and thinking about what the chat with the coach might be like to see where he is at and where I’m at in the team. We’ve both bounced back from that now. There has been a lot of articles of people talking about it.
“But I didn’t want to feel like the victim in that situation. It was hard at the time and I had a sit down with JD a couple of days after the game. It was a positive chat.
“Ever since then I have been positive and changed my mindset.
“I’m hungrier now than I was before. It was probably the kick up the backside I needed. I’m loving my footy at the moment.”
Ilias will take on Parramatta on Friday as South Sydney look to confirm a top-eight finish in 2022.