The Rabbitohs are looking to secure their insurance should contract discussions with Adam Reynolds remain at a crossroads.
As South Sydney look to stand firm on their offering of a one-year extension and Reynolds persists with his request of a three-year contract, the premiership playmaker’s time at the club looks to be drawing to an end.
Should their highly-heralded skipper opt for eager suitors in either the Cowboys, Broncos and Sharks, the Rabbitohs will need to secure his successor shortly – and they’re not short on options.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Souths are set to hand young halves duo Lachlan Ilias and Blake Taaffe new deals.
The former – an Australian Schoolboys product – has been promoted to the NSW Cup this week after opening his 2021 campaign with the Bunnies’ Jersey Flegg side.
Taaffe, 21, is seen as a more matured halves option for the Rabbitohs future and could offer an exciting fight for selection alongside Round 5 debutant Dean Hawkins.
Hawkins is also in line for a new deal as he remains off-contract for the 2022 season, as does promising playmaker Troy Dargan, who’s name has also been tossed up.
With or without Reynolds for next season, Souths are keen to lock away their next batch of rising star as Jason Demetriou begins his tenure at Redfern.
Who pulls on the No.7 jumper in Demetriou’s first game at the helm is another question, with reports earlier this week revealing the Rabbitohs could hand 36-year-old half Benji Marshall a one-year extension.
The New Zealand international has been exceptional for the Bunnies so far this season and is showing no sign of slowing down – playing all 80 minutes in last week’s win over Brisbane.