The South Sydney Rabbitohs have made a new acquisition signing one of the best young front-rowers from Queensland.
Likened to Tom Burgess, the Rabbitohs have signed Jason Hallie to the Black Rabbits Elite Player Development program.
While Hallie hasn't yet been given an NRL contract, he will be granted with the opportunity to showcase his talents. The Northern Pride forward was involved in a tug-of-war between two NRL clubs, ending with him joining Souths.
"I feel pretty privileged, it's not a small club, Souths,” Hallie said to The Cairns Post.
"I've talked to a couple of clubs, but only two Sydney clubs were serious in wanting me. Souths, the way he sold the program to me sounded better for my type of style."
Rabbitohs' Head of Elite Pathways and Player Development, Joe O'Callaghan, spoke about the arrival of Hallie and what fans can expect him to bring.
"We need a big-bodied middle coming through our system," O'Callaghan told The Cairns Post.
"Thomas (Burgess) has one more year then he's coming towards the end of his career, we've been strategic with how we've brought Davvy Moale along through our system over the past few years."
"In our current pathways system, we don't have a similar big-bodied middle who ticks those boxes. It was a position we wanted to fill."
Still 18 years old, they won't rush the process of bringing Hallie down to the Rabbitohs. Hallie is set to play out the year in Far North Queensland.
"We believe that getting relocation done well is really important to success down the track," O'Callaghan said.
"We'd prefer him to continue playing in an A-grade competition we believe in, he'll get just as much out of that than rushing down here to play 21s.
"When you're 18, handling yourself in that competition and playing Foley Shield – because we know the level of that comp, we knew where he was coming from.
"He's more than ready to play Jersey Flegg, but that's a short term thing. If we rush him and get it wrong – Tully to Sydney is a big adjustment.
"We'd rather get it done really well, hopefully that sets him up to be successful over a few years."