South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach John Sutton has named five youngsters at the club who are set to take the NRL by storm next season.

Retiring in 2019 after a 336-game career in the NRL and becoming the longest-serving Rabbitohs player, Sutton began his coaching career in the club's SG Ball program before being elevated to a development coach and now earning a promotion to work under Jason Demetrious as an assistant coach.

His promotion comes after Sam Burgess (Warrington Wolves) and John Morris (Wests Tigers) have left the club as the Rabbitohs turn a new page in their coaching structure. Sutton will join Ben Hornby and 2023 Grand Final-winning NSW Cup coach Joe O'Callaghan as assistants at the club.

Having worked closely with the younger players at the club, Sutton told News Corp that rising stars Tyrone Munro, Tallis Duncan, Jye Gray, Ben Lovett, and Thomas Fletcher will all progress to first grade next season.

Tallis Duncan managed the most NRL games out of all five with seven appearances in 2023, while Tyonre Munro and Ben Lovett both played in three games.

However, Jye Gray and Thomas Fletcher have yet to make an impact in the NRL and will be eager to register their first-grade debut next season.

“The sky is the limit for Tyrone Munro, he could be anything,'' Sutton said.

“They're all going to be putting pressure on first grade for sure.

“After [a] poor end to our season everyone is focused on the future. I've always been about this football team and this club and I will always put that first.

“I'm committed to one thing and that is coaching the boys the South Sydney way.''

NRL Pre-Season - Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: Tallis Duncan of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Manly Sea Eagles at Industree Group Stadium on February 10, 2023 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

A former playmaker in his playing days before transitioning to the forwards as a back-rower and lock, it has been revealed that John Sutton is set to work with the Rabbitohs the NRL spine.

While he'll work with Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Lachlan Ilias and Damien Cook, he will mainly focus on the next generation of spine players coming through the ranks and the pathways system.

“I did a lot of work with our reserve grade team last season and mostly the spine and backrowers,” Sutton added.

“I did some really rewarding stuff with them and went onto win the competition, so I think JD (Demetriou) recognised that he could use me a lot more, particularly the guys that are just on the fringe.

“It's a great sign of trust from JD. Just to be able to work with first grade now, and be more hands-on is something I'm really looking forward to.

“I'm looking forward to doing a lot of work for the younger players in the squad, which I love to do.

“I've been around 20 years now, so I've seen a lot of different coaches and a lot of different styles. Hopefully, I can transition that into my coaching going forward. I'm looking forward to that.''

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs looks on prior to the round 12 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on May 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Sutton would go on to reveal that the departure of former teammate and Rabbitohs assistant coach Sam Burgess was hard to see and explained that the club needs to bounce back from a disappointing campaign in 2023 that saw them miss the NRL finals.

Burgess reportedly left the Bunnies under bad circumstances after it was multiple publications revealed he had a falling out with coach Jason Demetriou.

“I've got plenty of belief,'' Sutton continued.

“I just look around at the organisation of people. Yes, it was a hiccup last year, but we'll work hard in the pre-season, increase our bond.

“I like the look of our squad. It's a great squad.

“We just lacked confidence going into the back end of the year, but a good, hard pre-season changes all that.

“You get what you deserve in this game, so we're one of the clubs back to training earlier and who need to train hard to get back to where we should be.''

Wighton's arrival to Souths adds a new dimension to the team's attack in 2024, with the former Raider capable of playing at five-eighth, centre or fullback.