The South Sydney Rabbitohs have re-signed Sam Johnstone, Ky Rodwell and Lucky Ta’avale for 2018 and beyond.

Johnstone, 19, is a front-row forward from Mackay in Queensland, who came to Sydney in 2016 to play with the South Sydney under 18s SG Ball team.

He graduated to the Rabbitohs’ under 20s squad in 2017 and has gone on to play 24 NYC games in the red and green.

Johnstone has re-signed until the end of 2020.

Rodwell, 18, is a prop-forward from the south coast of NSW, who headed to Sydney after being recruited by Souths Juniors as a 16-year-old.

He played in the South Sydney Harold Matthews Cup under 16s team and captained the SG Ball Cup under 18s side before joining the under 20s squad in 2017 where he played ten games.

Rodwell has also re-signed until the end of 2020.

Ta’avale, 19, can play across various positions in the forward pack and despite an injury-interrupted 2017 season, he proved himself to be a valuable member of the under 20s squad’s forward pack across his 18 games this year.

A big body standing 192cm tall and weighing in at 105kg, Ta’avale has a strong running game and is equally adept in defence.

Ta’avale has re-signed with the Rabbitohs until the end of 2019.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Jesse Arthars (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Dean Britt (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Billy Brittain (2019), Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights, 2021), Jacob Gagan (Newcastle Knights, 2019), Richie Kennar (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2019), Vincent Leuluai (Melbourne Storm, 2018), Jesse Martin (Manly Sea Eagles, 2018), Matt McIlwrick (Wests Tigers, 2019), Mark Nicholls (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Tevita Tatola (Wests Tigers, 2019)
2018 Losses
Anthony Cherrington (retired), Bryson Goodwin (Warrington Wolves), Jack Gosiewski (Manly Sea Eagles), Aaron Gray (Cronulla Sharks), Brett Greinke (released), Gabriel Hamlin (Wigan Warriors), Luke Kelly (released), Dane Nielsen (released), Robbie Rochow (Wests Tigers), Toby Rudolf (released), David Tyrrell (released)
Joshua Cook (2019), Campbell Graham (2021), Dean Hawkins (2019), Mawene Hiroti (2019), Alex Johnston (2020), Sam Johnstone (2018), Ky Rodwell (2019), John Sutton (2019), Lucky Ta'avale (2018), Siosifa Talakai (2018), Kyle Turner (2019)
Off Contract 2019
Dean Britt, Billy Brittain, George Burgess, Jacob Gagan, Mawene Hiroti, Rhys Kennedy, Ethan Lowe, Mark Nicholls, John Sutton, Tevita Tatola, Connor Tracey, Kyle Turner


  1. Baaah , they could sign Cronk wouldn’t make a lick of difference, they got rid of one of the best coaches in the Comp , nothing to see here

  2. Although I agree with about Madge (being one of the best coaches in the game) your track record thus far has not been too good. I seem to recall you said Barrett should be dumped and yet he got Manly to the finals (top 6), you said that Brad Arthur couldn’t coach and he not only got the Eels to the finals but got them a top 4 finish and you said that the Titans would be the premiers in 2017. When it comes to your opinion, like you said, “nothing to see here”.

  3. I dont see Souths gaining any advantage by getting rid of Madge. For that matter Goodwin and Tyrrell are big losses as well.
    Gagai / Ingliss will steady the ship some what but i think its another couple of seasons to get these young heads moving forward.

    Now for the most depressing realization… theres no more footy till next year

    • Souths made a big mistake mate IMO pulling “the Ides of March” on Madge. Hope we don’t come to regret it, particularly if Gus (Angus Crichton) walks when he seemed happy at the club.

    • If u think Tyrrell is a big loss u know nothing about footy and u can have him at St George Illawarra, I don’t believe he’s been picked up yet LOL…..

  4. Agree on all the above ! However to my defence I wasn’t expecting the plane to be such a trouble maker, Bazz got lucky,and I am right Turbo is a centre , maybe winger, DCE would make an awesome hooker , parra are still garbage

    • I picked parra to make it to the show…maybe not win it but at least have a dance. I guess my Dragons brought that undone by letting the Cowz have the last say.

    • Yep, the “Hayne Plane” didn’t make it off the runway. The head was too heavy for lift off! I think I tipped Storm vs Raiders for the GF and Storm for minor premiers. Can’t remember though. Maybe someone else here does? Either way Baz did better in his second year than Toovey did in his last. “Here fishy, fishy…”

      • Sadly I don’t think the “Hayne Plane” will ever take off again. He wants to be at Parramatta but Parramatta don’t need/want him. I hope I am wrong…

        • Hayne puts himself ahead of his club and his team mates which has no place in a team sport. I didn’t like the look of him jumping on the fence with arms outstretched in SOO to celebrate with the crowd and turning the focus on himself and his back on his team mates while they waited around below to celebrate the try that THEY helped setup. Unfortunately I think he has priced himself out of the market for what he now offers in return and most coaches see him as a liability rather than an asset.

    • Holmsey , I coached a U15’s side that finished last in 2012 to first in 2013! undefeated ! a canberra junior Rugby League record from a defensive perspective (average 3pts against/ game) that’s not NRL standard but I’m proud oh that , I will say this , based on your insights into this great game I put my Intel up against yours any day ,

      • With stupid positional changes like those ideas id back my insights anyday but keep believing mate haha

      • You played footy Holmsey? Sounds like your young enough to qualify for 17’s , I admire your cheek , pity your intelligence though

      • I guess big Mal isn’t intelligent enough for you either , he knows exactly how to play Turbo , you didn’t criticise that aie , like I said 17’s

        • MW47, now it’s all making sense, and I can see things clearly from your perspective, and on that basis, I agree, DCE would make a great hooker, in any U15’s side. Now that was for calling Parra garbage.

          Of course Turbo can play centre, or winger, but unless you were bringing in the likes of Slater or Teddy etc. why would you / whose your potential FB gun that is missing out?

          I’d argue the same with DCE, and for the record I do agree he could very easily play hooker, but again, why? Surely you wouldn’t be advocating a swap with API, or dropping him?

          As for Barrett, I wouldn’t go so far as to deem him “just lucky” for the performance this year. I’d be the first to admit he has outperformed (from a Manly perspective) my expectations this year, but I still don’t see him making a quality medium / long term FG coach. I obviously hope he doesn’t prove me wrong, especially given I hate Manly as much as the next bloke, but I just don’t see it in him.

      • Mighty , good points , I hate Parra because it’s in the “spirit” of being Manly , I can give credit and for that I say Norman (Corey ) and Gutho have massive potential ( can’t stand Moses) ! Now Turbo , defensively poor , positional play poor , those are REQUIREMENTS TO EXCED AT FB, as for DCE , anyone can call themselves a 7 behind a big pack , DCE for mine doesn’t control the tempo the way I’d expect from a million dollar half , sure he has skills but lacks massively when required to step up when chips are down, during our horror run he was nowhere at press conferences, start winning and guess who’s next to Bazz , like you I don’t believe Bazz will repeat this year efforts, lucky , wow DCE under 15’s mmmm sometimes with that haircut I ask myself is he 15 ?

  5. SSTID , as a player how many Prem rings does Bazz have ? And before anyone starts me with that Mexican coach there are lots of variables there to consider LOTS

  6. Roos squad just been leaked. Big shocks are no Campbell-Gillard. Bolters are T Trbojevic, Kaufusi, McLean and the big shock Ben Hunt over Norman and Cherry-Evans. Maloney also named.

    • I wouldn’t have included Woods, Hunt or Dugan but overall a strong squad. Nice to see a few young forwards get an opportunity.

  7. Big shock DCE overlooked ? I stated long ago DCE will never get another SOO gig nor will he play for Aus , he just isn’t good enough , for the record Maloney is far greater than DCE across the park superior,

      • Holmsey, lose the monocle mate and you’ll see DCE is down the pecking order.

        He lacks the versatility others can offer,, he’s had a crack, and is now getting to the point where he’s a “consideration”, but unless there are numerous injuries, not a genuine contender, especially at a national level.

        He’s playing good club footy, so be happy. Personally I’m surprised he even gives a toss given his lifetime plus contract, and I’ll agree with MW47, his rep days are probably behind him, but as a NSW supporter I hope I’m wrong at origin level.

      • No monacle mate Mal came out and said before pm game DCE was selected, but had to withdraw. I honestly dont think he is done at origin, he is the best genuine halfback QLD now have with JT and Cronk retired. Morgan or Munster will be 6 and bench, DCE 7 and Hunt probably 9 (should be 9 for dragons obvious gun in that position).

        • Cronk is the 7, obviously, and when you look at the others selected, and just those that were selected effectively Vying for the 6, and back up to the 7 in case Cronk is injured, we have Morgan, Hunt, Munster and Maloney. If DCE was selected, in the extended squad, and that’s still a big IF, his chances of getting any game time would be remote, at best, and he would effectively be the worlds most expensive cheerleader.

        • O.K, so we can agree he’s virtually out of contention at a national level, and assuming Cronk and Thurston retire he’s in the mix with Hunt, Norman, Milfed, Munster etc for an origin spot?

          His window maybe ajar, but it’s far from wide open.

  8. Sam Williams returns to the Green Machine , are Austins days numbered ? Personally I like the kid , very underrated

  9. MW47 your no Manly fan your a disgrace. DCE and Tom were arguably the best players in their positions this season, both unlucky to miss out on player of the year awards. As for Tom and DCE moving out of their positions stick to your dreams mate they arent ever happening, thank god baz is our coach cause if we had someone like you running the side we would have been disqualified for being that!

    • He’s a disgrace because he doesn’t agree with your opinion? I think you could argue Ben Hunt deserves the kangaroos jersey more than DCE. Hunt played rep football this year (SOO), and helped the Broncos reach the prelims. On top of that you can play him at hooker if Smith gets injured.

      • Hunt didnt deserve a spot for QLD, and doesnt deserve the Aus spot. Granville, Friend and Koroisau are all better hookers than him and its their actual position. As for Cherry Mal had him in the squad but had to pull out, its as simple as that. And its not an opinion when you are trol.ling mate.

  10. Holmsey I’ve been a member for longer than you’ve been alive , I’ve never seen Manly go through what they did to Tooves , Snake ,Matai ,Gifty ,Balin Choc , there’s too many to mention , you don’t understand Manly culture because your age group just don’t get it, your of the microwave generation , packet satisfaction, your glorification of the likes of Turbo and DCE prove this , don’t ever question my pride in Maroon and White , there are those here who know me personally that can back me on this now get back to icarly , fool

    • Not the 50s anymore mate, game has changed and your behind it. Your obviously passionate but your comments are dumb and have no proof behind them, no reasoning they are silly. If you were a real fan youd actually praise your players and coach for a tremendous season while Tom and DCE had amazing seasons also. Even the Parra fans who hate our club can admit Tom, DCE had great seasons and baz has alot of promise. Mr negative, all you are.

      • Steady Holmsey. I have disagreed with plenty on this site and I haven’t agreed with their flawed logic or biased interpretations but I have NEVER called anyone’s opinion dumb (not even DoorMatt). Agree to disagree and move on. 3hats and I don’t see eye to eye about a lot of things but we would fight back to back against anyone attacking our team. Remember you are both on the same side. Let’s have fun, it’s the off-season!

        • Your logic would still have Guthro on the wing , if he where at Manly it’s where he would play , had anyone “suggested” a positional change your immaturity would cloud your capacity to think outside the box ,

        • You would play Guthro on centres , what a waste of talent , your Rugby League Intel is below average, I don’t need to show you up , you do a better job of it yourself

        • Did anyone say the same when Cronk was moved from hooker to HB? I believe even Cam Smith didn’t start his career at hooker. What about Inglis’ move to FB (when he was injury free) while he was just about the best centre in the game, or Milford from FB to 5/8? There have been a lot of questionable positional changes that have proven to be a stroke of genius in hindsight while others have not. The Dogs have been playing their spine all out of position for the last 3 years not all decisions made by coaches are correct. Or are you forgetting about Baz persisting with Dylan Waker at 5/8 when it was clear he was being played out of position and losing confidence with every game? The same thing happened this year when Madge moved Cody Walker from 5/8 to FB. Sometimes changes need to be made and sometimes they don’t. It’s easy to make the call in hindsight but it takes guts and imagination to try to think outside the box.

          I still believe that the Broncos would be a more potent side if Boyd and Milford switched positions. Most Broncos fans don’t agree but they haven’t called me dumb for suggesting it. I have said for years now that Lichaa isn’t a hooker I think he is being played out of position but some people insist on trying to bang square pegs into round holes.

          Remember its all just talk, no one has the power to change your team so relax and don’t worry. Like MW47, I like your passion and your commitment to your team but you don’t have to go to war over every difference of opinion.

        • How does it show my intel as low? With Turbo at fullback youd have a lyon like centre in gutho who can still be heavily involved.

        • Holmsey , can you see a day when Darius shifts from fullback ?? Where could he also excel ? Trick question, be careful how you answer

        • DCE , short passing game above average , long passing don’t go there to many intercepts , long and short kicking game poor its why we invested in green , great defence , when he runs straight dangerous player , unfortunately he is no 7 , a 7 can to all of above at a high level , hate to say it but Moses plays a better style , he successfully shifted Parra from left to right this year and did it with ease , ( and I loathe Moses)

        • Manly v Melb
          Manly v StG
          Manly v Dogs
          All great examples of why DCE and Turbo are out of position, on Turbo , Wright came in to cover and blitzed it , now there’s a player wasted on the edge ,

        • Ok fair enough your reasons. Your not going to like my reasons for why im against nor will you agree. Anyway.

          – You say he has a poor passing game overall but he basically got half his try assists off his passing game, long and short. He gave beautiful long balls to our wingers all year resulting in tries, great short passes to walkz and siro in 2 really well developed combinations. His early ball to our speed men, in Uate and Walker I honestly dont think there is a better 7 who gives early ball to his fast men. (2 INTERCEPTS ALL YEAR DOES NOT MEAN #### WHEN IVE SEEN JT DO THE SAME)

          – You claim he has a poor kicking game also, this is why we brought Green over? We really brought Green over cause we didnt have a 6, Walkz last year was a centre playing 6 all he could do was run and no passing. DCE has a great long kicking game, one of the better ones in the comp if not the best, 3 40/20s in pressure moments for us and gaining repeat sets off long kicks. Plenty of tries off his grubbers and plenty of repeats sets

          – DCE finished 1st for try assists and 2nd (Green first) for repeat sets showing there isnt any better than him in those categories this year with the passing and kicking

          – I agree with your statements on his running game and defence. DCE is the most efficient tacking half in the comp along with green who on average both miss the least tackles out of all halves

          Moses is a great young player but seriously better than DCE?

          Id love to see an outsiders view of this debate.

        • Those games you mention show absolutely nothing mate, what about the other 23 games where those 2 dominated in their positions? Or the other 5 years of their sucesful junior and fg careers?

    • It’s called a “participation award”. They don’t have them in the NRL though. Only a prize for first.

      • Ohhh I don’t know about that one SSTID , some of these “new gen” players are so used to “rewards” it wouldn’t surprise me ,

  11. Of the forty-nine posts so far only four have discussed what the article was about. Hmmm. The discussion was good reading but off-topic. Back to the good old days. Good to see SSTD_1970 back.

    • Manly supporters have hijacked another Rabbitohs story again I’m afraid. I was going to ask the same question, if anyone had anything relevant to add from this article, but you would hardly think 2 seagulls fighting over the last chip would have anything positive to say about the Bunnies.

      I’m only back ONE day and already ZT has gone from a MORGUE to a MAD HOUSE!! The silly season is here again boys and girls. Buckle up, we’re in for a wild ride!

        • Hey billy boooiyeee! Welcome to the “silly season”. Souths need the BEEF up front. The twins were starting to come good by the end of the season. I think the change of coach and the player movements will have them focused on further improving in 2018. For now I am standing by the twins and Sammy is one of our best so no need to break up the family just yet and test his loyalties. Besides Maximus is close to the the Burgii and it would be a big move to break them up. Also, without the 3 Burgii Souths would lack size in the middle third of the field.

        • hahaha – wonder how long it would take you to bite 🙂
          they may provide size upfront, but they also provide a lot of dropped balls, ineffective tackles and take up an awful amount of salary cap space – but each to their own, keep finding the likes of nathan brown and sending them our way to aid your cap.
          anyway, thoughts on GI? I wonder whether he will actually make it back on the field and, if he does, whether he would have the same impact as he had prior to injury. I have my doubts.

        • I think GI is too big a risk at FB, he is only exposing himself to further injury with that increased workload of returning the ball and higher profile for the defence which means more wear and tear on his knees. If his knees were OK I would play him at FB, since they are not he MUST play centre. Inglis said that he called Bellamy and discussed a possible return stint at the Storm just before re-signing with Souths. If Souths could arrange a direct trade for Munster I would be happy with that! I like GI but he is damaged and at this point now that will only get worse, besides he does drift in and out of games with his involvement at times. Munster is a gun on the rise but the Storm have him shackled in chains and locked in a vault I think. Which, if true, would make Munster more of a Harry Houdini than a Dally Messenger if you ask me. They should free him up to explore his options. 😉

  12. Its good to have some footy talk, even if it is about to manly supporters arguing. As SSTID is saying, day one of the silly season and its all begun! Will only get louder in the coming weeks with plenty of player movement on the horizon.

  13. Sorry Holmsey went to bed , it’s a fifties thing , your argument has merit not gonna call it dumb, Moses not better , but plays both sides of the field with ball in hand (trad half traits) my observations on DCE , when we are up against solid sides he ain’t up to it , it’s why no rep footy , now you missed the biggest scoop , NO TEDDY IN AUS SIDE , Santa may have come early for you , SSTID hijacked ? It’s cause Soufs are booooooring , and you Soufs lot always agree , I can see your kind meeting for lattes and kissing each other on the cheeks when you meet 😂😂😂😂😂

  14. Jury definitely still out on whether Madge is a ‘Great’ coach… yes he did break our premiership drought, but and here’s the BIG but… since the premiership we were fasting heading back to the bad old days with some pretty mind boggling decisions and failing miserably to come up with any sort of alternative game plan.

    Only Time will tell if he’s a great coach.

    • Brads better than Clint , even Greenies caught up , is Belly that good ? Failed at SOO , would the same be said of JT had he had big 3 at Tigers ? Look at Des when at Manly with that side from 2006 – 2013

    • Pappa Smurf (Bennett) can ONLY coach with a team of rep players. He bombed out at the Knights and wouldn’t consider any other team other than the Broncos because it is basically the QLD origin team minus the Storm big 3, Inglis and Gaigai.
      Tell him not to start me on Pappa Smurf tommy. tommy? Don’t start me tommy, dooon’t start me!

      Madge brought professionalism to Souths and a work ethic the club never had before. I am still firmly in the Madge camp and believe had he been given the first half of the season he would have turned things around. Too late now though.

      • Agree he was outstanding at the start (thought he would have coached us for the next 10 years) – but ever since the premiership we’ve been going in only 1 direction.

        Once again only time will dedicate if it was the right decision… we will see.

    • Tell THAT to Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey, Manly “plucked” them like a Thanksgiving turkey! No love lost on the peninsula for losers it seems! Glass houses twinkle toes, think fast! Bahahahahahaha

  15. Rabbitoh come get ya rabbithos we got pigeon too , rabbits taste better though , “it’s ok love the bloods from the rabbits”

  16. Oi SSTID , bring us up some dunny paper I’m out , and turn the light off downstairs, thank God for technology ,

  17. Rumour has it that Souffs have signed the brilliant Jason Taylor as their head coach next season … 😉 tic

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