South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed their 30-man squad for the 2024 season, however in and amongst the team’s train-and-trial deals is an English Warrington Wolves academy product.
The Rabbitohs had a disappointing season in 2023 and went from looking like the front-runners early on in the season to actually missing the play-offs completely, placing ninth after winning just three of their final ten games.
Despite that they’ll still be one of the favourites for the upcoming season with the Bunnies often spending big and harbouring some prime talent, such as Latrell Mitchell and new signing Jack Wighton.
You could even compare Souths to Warrington Wolves, particularly given the Sam Burgess connection now that the Englishman is in charge at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and there’s now a new connection.
After naming their top 30 the club have also confirmed which players are on train-and-trial deals, and which players will play in the New South Wales Cup.
The most interesting name is Aiden Doolan, the 20-year-old former Warrington Wolves academy product being placed on a train-and-trial deal with the club.
Doolan was one of eight academy products to sign a first team contract with the Wire in August 2022 alongside the likes of Adam Holroyd, Leon Hayes and Jake Thewlis who have all seen Super League action in 2023.
When announcing his first team contract in 2022, the Wire website offered up some insight on the 20-year-old hooker.
“Aiden Doolan is a Widnes-born talent who came from the Vikings with Adam Holroyd when their Academy disbanded back in 2019. The Halton Farmworth junior can play either at hooker, half-back or at Loose Forward and will do a solid job in any of these positions.
“The Lancashire origin player has made 11 appearances this season and has averaged 60 minutes in the 11 games he has participated in. He is also the club’s top tackler and has the most tackle wins in the team with the utility player making just shy of 1000 running metres.”
He’ll be hoping to potentially make his mark down under with the Bunnies as well as another familiar face with Billy Tsikrikas joining the team’s New South Wales Cup set-up.
Tsikrikas joined Castleford Tigers on loan late last season in their bid to escape relegation and the Greek international now returns to Australia to take on the NSW Cup opportunity having played a handful of times for the Tigers.
The Bunnies have actually only named 29 players to their current top 30 meaning there’s the potential that either Doolan or Tsikrikas could make the starting roster, although unlikely.