The South Sydney Rabbitohs have announced the re-signing of Taane Milne, Izaac Thompson, Ben Lovett and Isaiah Tass through to the end of the 2024 season.
While still looking to lock up their spine of Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Lachlan Ilias and Damien Cook, who are all free to talk to rivals November 1st, the club has moved to retain the pieces around their superstars.
Milne, who was rumoured to make a move to the Super League earlier this year, will play his 50th NRL game on Friday night against the Roosters, his 31st for South Sydney.
The Fijian international has spent time with the Warriors, Tigers and Dragons before finding a home in Redfern, and looks set to become a mainstay in the first-grade side.
Tass burst onto the scene this season, debuting on Good Friday against Canterbury, and now finding himself as a first-choice selection for the left centre role, forcing South Sydney junior Campbell Graham to the right edge.
Milne, Tass, Thompson and Lovett sign on until at least the end of 2024 ✍️🔒🐇❤️💚
Details: https://t.co/NRHe1pe3ZY#GoRabbitohs pic.twitter.com/T5ItHEbyLf
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) September 1, 2022
Izaac Thompson has only played the two NRL games this season, scoring a try in both victories, whilst crossing for 20 in just 16 NSW Cup games for the Rabbitohs.
The nearly-26-year-old is a late-bloomer, but has shown promising signs in his introduction to first-grade. Losing Jaxson Paulo to the Roosters next season means Thompson will rise another rung in the pecking order in 2023.
Lovett is the only signing without an NRL cap, however he could be the most promising of the quartet. Hailing from Parkes, the Spacemen junior is a rangy back-rower with a massive work ethic and runs the ball with vigour.
Lacking in second-row depth means that we could see the 20 year-old Central West product in the NRL sooner rather than later.
South Sydney Head of Football, Mark Ellison, was ecstatic about the re-signings, breaking down the qualities that each delivers to the team.
“We could not be happier knowing that Taane, Isaiah, Izaac and Ben see their futures at the Rabbitohs,” Ellison told the South Sydney Rabbitohs media.
“Every time Taane steps onto the field you know he is going to give his all.
"No one can ever question his effort and his enthusiasm to play hard and compete which translates from his training and his interactions with the rest of the squad.
“‘Tassy’ has come along in leaps and bounds this year which is a testament to his willingness to work hard and learn from his experienced teammates around him.
“He has thrown himself into everything and has earned the opportunities he’s received this year.
“Izaac’s story is quite remarkable. At one stage he had quit the sport and weighed over 140kg, but he has fought back and worked extremely hard to get himself into a position to become a regular first grade prospect.
“Ben’s game has progressed strongly throughout the year and he’s pushed for a spot in our top 17 on game day on many occasions.
“He’s a no-nonsense player that doesn’t take a backward step and he never shirks the tough work that needs to be done.
"He has found a home here at South Sydney after relocating from Parkes with no promises as to how far he would progress with our Club, but he has worked extremely hard to get to the point he has, and we expect him to continue to progress and make his NRL debut sooner rather than later."
Both Tass and Milne have been named in the Rabbitohs' backline for the final game of the regular season, a Friday night clash against the Sydney Roosters to celebrate the reopening of Allianz Stadium.