South Sydney Rabbitohs

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South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs logo.png
Club information
Full nameSouth Sydney District Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)Rabbitohs, Souths, The Bunnies, The Rabbits, The Red and Green, The Cardinal and Myrtle, The Pride of the League [1] [2]
ColoursPrimary
     Cardinal Red
     Myrtle Green
Secondary
     Black
     White
Founded17 January 1908;110 years ago (1908-01-17)
Exited1999
Readmitted2002
Website rabbitohs.com.au
details
Ground(s)
CEO Blake Solly
Chairman Nick Pappas
Coach Wayne Bennett
Captain Greg Inglis
2018 Season 3rd
Souths09away.svg.jpg
Away colours
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Records
Premierships21 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014)
Runners-up13 (1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969)
Minor premiership 17 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989)
Wooden spoons 8 (1945, 1946, 1962, 1975, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Most capped308 - John Sutton
Highest points scorer1,841 - Eric Simms
Arthur Hennessy, South Sydney's first captain and coach. Arthur Hennessy AustRL.jpg
Arthur Hennessy, South Sydney's first captain and coach.
Jack Rayner ca 1949, Premiership player and coach Jack Rayner.jpg
Jack Rayner ca 1949, Premiership player and coach

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league team based in Redfern, a suburb of Inner-Southern Sydney, New South Wales. [3] They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital. They are often called Souths and The Bunnies.

Rugby league team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Redfern, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Redfern is an inner-city suburb of Sydney located 3 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney. Strawberry Hills is a locality on the border with Surry Hills. The area experienced the process of gentrification in recent years.

New South Wales state of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Contents

The club was formed in 1908 as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League, making them one of Australia's oldest rugby league teams. The Rabbitohs were formed, under their original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and Botany. They are one of only two foundation clubs still present in the NRL, the other being the Sydney Roosters. [4] The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club is currently a subsidiary company 75% owned by Blackcourt League Investments which is, in turn, 50% owned by the actor Russell Crowe and 50% owned by James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings; the other 25% is owned by the financial Members of the club. [5]

Sydney Roosters rugby league football club

The Sydney Roosters is an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition and is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in Australian rugby league history, having won fourteen New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and National Rugby League titles, and several other competitions. Only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons have won more premierships. The club holds the record for having the most wins and the second greatest margin of victory in a match in Australian rugby league history, and has won more minor premierships than any other club. The Roosters is one of only two clubs to finish runners-up in its inaugural season. The Eastern Suburbs DRLFC is the only club to have played in each and every season at the elite level, and since the 1970s has often been dubbed the "glamour club" of the league. Coached by Trent Robinson along with captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, the Roosters play their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Russell Crowe New Zealand-born Australian actor, film producer and musician

Russell Ira Crowe is an actor, film producer and musician. Although a New Zealand citizen, he has lived most of his life in Australia. He came to international attention for his role as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which Crowe won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, an Empire Award for Best Actor and a London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and 10 further nominations for best actor.

James Douglas Packer is an Australian billionaire businessman and investor.

The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once typically working-class suburbs of inner-south Sydney now generally occupied by factories. The club is based in Redfern, where the club's administration and training facilities are located, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is currently Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park. In the New South Wales Rugby League (1908–1994), Australian Rugby League (1995–1997), and National Rugby League (1998-1999, 2002–present) competitions South Sydney are the most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league in terms of total championships won, having claimed 21 first grade premierships. In addition to winning the most premierships, the Rabbitohs also hold the distinction of being the only club to win a premiership in their inaugural season.

Stadium Australia stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Stadium Australia, commercially known as ANZ Stadium and formerly as Telstra Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney, Australia. The stadium, which in Australia is sometimes referred to as Sydney Olympic Stadium, Homebush Stadium or simply the Olympic Stadium, was completed in March 1999 at a cost of A$690 million to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. The Stadium was leased by a private company the Stadium Australia Group until the Stadium was sold back to the NSW Government on 1 June 2016 after NSW Premier Michael Baird announced the Stadium was to be redeveloped as a world-class rectangular stadium. The Stadium is owned by Venues NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. The nine-member Venues NSW Board is chaired by Christine McLoughlin.

Sydney Olympic Park Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney Olympic Park is a large sports and entertainment complex in the West of Sydney. It is also an official suburb of Sydney, commonly known as Olympic Park but officially named Sydney Olympic Park. Sydney Olympic Park is located 14 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Parramatta Council.

The New South Wales Rugby League premiership was the first rugby league football club competition established in Australia and contributor to today's National Rugby League. Run by the New South Wales Rugby League from 1908 until 1994, the premiership was the state's elite rugby league competition.

History

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall [6] when administrator J J Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Clement Hoyle gathered together in front of a large crowd of supporters. [7] The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908. [7] [8] The team went on to win the inaugural premiership then successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default. [9] During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was Souths' first captain and coach. He was also New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908. S. G. "George" Ball became Club Secretary in 1911 after Arthur Hennessy stood down from the position, and he remained in that capacity for over fifty years, only retiring a few years before his death in 1969.

Redfern Town Hall

The Redfern Town Hall is a landmark sandstone civic building located in the heart of Redfern, New South Wales, Australia. built in 1870 and designed in the Victorian Regency style by George Allen Mansfield. It was the seat of the Municipality of Redfern from 1870 to 1948. It stands at 73 Pitt Street, Redfern.

J J Giltinan Australian rugby league player

James Joseph Giltinan (1866–1950) was an Australian entrepreneur who helped to found the sport of rugby league football in Australia. The J. J. Giltinan Shield, which is awarded annually to the National Rugby League minor premiers, was named after him.

Victor Trumper Australian cricketer

Victor Thomas Trumper was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found unplayable. Archie MacLaren said of him, "Compared to Victor I was a cab-horse to a Derby winner". Trumper was also a key figure in the foundation of rugby league in Australia. He was the first cricketer to score 7 and 8 centuries in Test match cricket.

After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 19251932, only missing out in 1930. The 1925 side went through the season undefeated [10] and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League". [6] [11]

South Sydney struggled through most of the 1940s, only making the semifinals on two occasions (1944 and 1949). South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945–1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game.

In the 1950s South Sydney again had great success, winning five of the six premierships from 19501955, and losing the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances. The 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah [12] remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of '55" [13] [14] involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever Australian rugby league players.

Western Suburbs Magpies

The Western Suburbs Magpies is an Australian rugby league football club based in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales. Formed in 1908, Wests, as they are commonly referred to, were one of the nine foundation clubs of the first New South Wales Rugby League competition in Australia. The club, as a sole entity, departed the top-flight competition in 1999 after forming a 50–50 joint venture with Balmain Tigers to form the Wests Tigers. The club currently fields sides in the NSW State Cup, Ron Massey Cup (Opens), S.G. Ball Cup and Harold Matthews Cup competitions.

In a sport or game, sudden death is a form of competition where play ends as soon as one competitor is ahead of the others, with that competitor becoming the winner. Sudden death is typically used as a tiebreaker when a contest is tied at the end of regulation (normal) playing time or the completion of the normal playing task.

Jack Rayner Australian rugby league player and coach

Jack Rayner was an Australian state and national representative rugby league player and NSWRFL coach. His club playing career was with the South Sydney Rabbitohs from 1946 to 1957 and he also represented New South Wales on eleven occasions and played in five Test matches for the Australian national side.

In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 19581964. However, in 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their 10th straight premiership. The young Rabbitohs weren't overawed by the Dragons formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056 [15] at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8. [16] The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 19671971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were later joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack. [17] From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken [18] in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall. [19] [20]

Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league sides, was closed in 1973 but a "Save Our Souths" campaign ensured the club survived. "Super Coach" Jack Gibson's [21] arrival turned the club's form, winning the pre-season competition in 1978. [7] The club captured victories in the mid-week Tooth Cup competition in 1981 [22] and in the pre-season "Sevens" competition in 1988. [7] The Rabbitohs were able to make the finals on five occasions in the 1980s, including a dominant season to finish as minor premiers in 1989. [7] The 1989 season proved to be the club's most successful in years, but also marked the last time the club was able to reach the finals until 2007. The following season the Rabbitohs finished as wooden spooners.

The club stayed afloat in the 1990s despite major financial problems. Souths' only success came in 1994 when they won the pre-season competition, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 27–26 in the final. [7] The Super League War and the eventual formation of the National Rugby League affected the club greatly when it was determined in 1998 that the newly formed competition would be contracted to 14 teams for the 2000 season. Following a series of mergers by other teams, [23] South Sydney failed to meet the National Rugby League's selection criteria to compete in the competition and were subsequently excluded from the premiership at the end of the 1999 season.

South Sydney Rabbitohs shareholder, actor Russell Crowe. RussellCroweOct05.jpg
South Sydney Rabbitohs shareholder, actor Russell Crowe.

In 2000 and 2001, South Sydney fought their way back into the competition following a string of high-profile legal battles [24] against the National Rugby League and News Limited. [25] A number of well attended public rallies took place during this time, as supporters from many different clubs got behind South Sydney's case. Upon appeal to the Federal Court in 2001, [26] South Sydney won readmission into the premiership for the 2002 season. [27]

After being readmitted, the Rabbitohs were initially unsuccessful in the premiership, finishing amongst the bottom three teams for five seasons straight including three wooden spoons. However, following the club's takeover by actor Russell Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court in 2006, [28] the club has had great success in securing a number of major national and international player signings such as the four Burgess Brothers and Greg Inglis. The club was also successful in recruiting several key managerial positions including Jason Taylor as head coach in 2007 and more recently Michael Maguire in 2012.

South Sydney was a party to one of the sponsorship deals promoted by the fraudulent company Firepower International. [29]

South Sydney won their first three games of the 2007 season (marking their best start to a season since 1972) and being competitive in every game. On the back of one of the best defences in the competition, the Rabbitohs finished strongly making the semi-finals for the first time since 1989. They finished the season in 7th position, going down to Manly in the playoffs.

On 26 January 2008, the Rabbitohs lost 24–26 to the Leeds Rhinos in front of 12,000 fans at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time first-grade professional rugby league teams from Australia and England have played each other in the United States.

Broncos vs Rabbitohs 2008 Broncos vs Rabbitohs 01.jpg
Broncos vs Rabbitohs 2008

May 2008 saw the sudden resignation of the then current Executive chairman and CEO, Peter Holmes à Court. He had been appointed to the role of CEO at the start of 2008. [30] [31] Reports suggested that Holmes à Court had been forced to stand down after his relationship with Russell Crowe had deteriorated beyond repair. [32] [33] [34] [35] [36]

Warriors v Rabbitohs 2009 Warriors v Bunnies.jpg
Warriors v Rabbitohs 2009

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during the 2008 National Rugby League season. That year they were named the National Trust's inaugural 'Community Icon', in recognition of the club's significant longstanding contribution to sport and sporting culture at both state and national levels. [37] In April 2012 the South Sydney Rabbitohs became the second club to record 1000 wins in First Grade. [38] That same year the Rabbitohs finished third at the end of the regular season, qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2007 and just the second time since 1989. [39] The South Sydney Rabbitohs finished third at the end of the regular season in 2014. They went on to win the Grand Final against the Canterbury Bulldogs 30-6 to claim their first premiership in 43 years, with Sam Burgess claiming the Clive Churchill Medal, South Sydney's first Clive Churchill Medallist in 43 years (taking into account the retrospective Clive Churchill medal awarded to Ron Coote in 1971). The 2014 Grand Final was the last match Burgess played for South Sydney, until an unexpected return to the club in 2016. On Thursday 9 October 2014, the Rabbitohs were presented with the Keys to the City of Randwick by Mayor Ted Seng at a presentation ceremony at Souths Juniors in Kingsford and later the same day awarded the Keys to the City of Sydney by Lord Mayor Clover Moore at a reception at Sydney Town Hall.

On 23 October 2014, Holmes à Court sold his 50% share of Blackcourt League Investments, and consequently his 37.5% stake in South Sydney, to James Packer's ScrumPac Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings. [5]

South Sydney started The 2015 NRL Season in promising fashion before injuries to key players set in with the club finishing 7th on the table and qualifying for the finals. In week one of the finals they played against Cronulla in the elimination match and lost 28-12 ending their season. [40] [41]

The 2016 NRL season proved to be a disappointing one for Souths as they finished 12th on the table, missing the finals. The club managed to only win 9 games for the entire season. [42] The 2017 NRL season seemed to mirror the previous year with the club again finishing 12th on the table and captain Greg Inglis missing the entire season through injury after an ACL injury acquired in the first game of the year. One of the highlights of the year for the club was seeing the emergence of young back-rower Angus Crichton who put in a number of good performances for the team. At seasons end, coach Michael Maguire was terminated and new coach Anthony Seibold was appointed. [43] [44]

For the 2018 NRL season, many experts predicted Souths to finish outside the top 8 but the club performed strongly throughout the year finishing 3rd on the table at the end of the regular season. In week one of the finals, South Sydney played against Melbourne and looked to have secured the victory until a late try and a field goal gave Melbourne the win 29-28. In week two, South Sydney played against St George for the first time in the finals series since 1984. Souths won the match 13-12 thanks to three field goals from Adam Reynolds including one in the final minute of the match. In the preliminary final, Souths faced off against arch rivals Eastern Suburbs in what would also be the final match played at the Sydney Football Stadium. In front of a ground record crowd of 44,380, Souths were defeated 12-4. [45] [46]

Emblem


The club mascot is the rabbitoh, a now-disused term that was commonly used in the early 20th century to describe hawkers who captured and skinned rabbits and then sold the meat at markets, [47] so named because they would shout "rabbit-oh!" around the markets to attract buyers. The club is also informally referred to as the Rabbits, Bunnies or Souths.

Exactly how South Sydney came to be known as the Rabbitohs is unknown. According to one version of events, dating from pre-schism days at the turn of the 20th century, some of the club's players earned some extra money on Saturday mornings as rabbit-oh men, staining their jerseys with rabbit blood in the process; when they played in those blood stained jumpers that afternoon, opponents from wealthier rugby clubs did not always appreciate the aroma and would mockingly repeat the "Rabbitoh!" cry. [48] Another version was that the term was a disparaging reference by opposing teams to South's home ground being plagued with "rabbit 'oles"; in those early days Redfern Oval was then known as Nathan's Cow Paddock. [6] A third version claims the Rabbitoh name was adopted from that of the touring Australian rugby union teams of the early 1900s who were nicknamed "Rabbits" prior to discarding the name in 1908 in favour of the moniker "Wallabies". [49]

The "Rabbitoh" emblem, a running white rabbit, first appeared on the team's jersey in 1959. The Rabbitoh emblem has in various forms been carried as the club's crest on every player's jersey ever since. The original "Rabbitoh" emblem design that appeared on the team's jerseys throughout the 1960s and 1970s has now been incorporated on the current jersey.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during 2008. The club released a centenary emblem to commemorate the occasion. To also coincide with the centenary year, Souths opted to alter their logo by removing the red and green oval from their emblem for a solid white rabbit with the words South Sydney Rabbitohs set in uppercase type.

Colours

South Sydney has used cardinal red and myrtle green colours on its playing jerseys for the vast majority of the club's history. Prior to the establishment of the rugby league club in 1908, the South Sydney rugby union team originally wore a red and green hooped jersey. Some sources have suggested that this combination of colours was due to the local rugby union club being nicknamed the "Redfern Waratahs". The first British inhabitants had often called the waratah a "red fern" instead, hence giving the suburb its name, and ultimately the local rugby club its emblem. Red and green dominate the colours of the waratah and hence, possibly, the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club adopted these colours for their jerseys. [49] However, the suburb of Redfern was named in honour of William Redfern, one of the first doctors of the colony, who treated convicts and poor settlers as well as the wealthy.

The club's jersey has been a hooped-styled one comprising alternating red and green, and has been used for the vast majority of the club's history. [50] In 1945 and 1946 the club broke with this tradition and used a green design with a red "V" around the collar, before reverting to the original hoop style. From 1980 to 1984 the team played in a strip which saw the inclusion of white hoops within a predominately green design with a central red stripe and was affectionately known as the "Minties" [51] jersey (so-called due to its apparent similarity to the wrapper design of the popular sweet). With the introduction of "away" jerseys towards the end of the 20th century, the club initially introduced a predominantly white jersey for away matches which was changed to a predominantly black one for the 2006 season.

Before the start of the 2007 season, the club announced that the away jersey would be styled identically to the traditional home jersey, with the exception of sponsorship and the rabbit emblem, which has been styled similarly to the one that initially featured on jerseys in the 1960s. [52] For season 2009, the rabbit emblem is black for home matches whilst the emblem is the original white for away matches. [53]

The playing shorts worn were historically black, though in the late 1970s the club adopted green shorts with a red vertical stripe. This was then superseded by the white shorts of the "Minties" outfit. When the club subsequently reverted to their traditional playing strip, the decision was made to wear black shorts once more. In 2008 the Rabbitohs wore white shorts to match the white stripe running down the side of their jersey.

Geographic area

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (pre-curser to the current corporate entity) was formed, under the original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and Botany.

Stadium

During the early years of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, "home games" were not assigned very often. However, South Sydney played most of their games at the Royal Agricultural Society Ground (Sydney Showground) from 1908 until the club's departure in 1920. From 1911 onwards, the Sydney Sports Ground was also used interchangeably with the Agricultural Ground over a decade for hosting matches. [54] In 1947 the club played its final season at the Sports Ground, before relocating to Redfern Oval in 1948. [55] It was here that team played in the heart of the club's territory and played the vast majority of its allocated home matches.

ANZ Stadium, the Rabbitohs current home ground. Panorama-TelstraStadium-Oct2005.jpg
ANZ Stadium, the Rabbitohs current home ground.

In 1988, the club began to play in the Sydney Football Stadium, [56] just built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground No. 2 Oval. The side continued to play here up until 2005, with the exception of 2000 and 2001 when South Sydney was absent from the premiership. During 2004–2005, when the Rabbitohs contract with Sydney Football Stadium was about to expire, new home grounds were investigated at Gosford, North Sydney Oval and Telstra Stadium (now ANZ Stadium). Eventually the decision was made to relocate to Telstra Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park. The move was not well received by some of the fans, [57] [58] but provided more money for the club that was several million dollars in the red at the end of 2005. [59]

Redfern Oval, Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers pre-season trial game, 8 February 2009. Redfern Oval RTR 2009.jpg
Redfern Oval, Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers pre-season trial game, 8 February 2009.

In 2006 the club relocated home games to ANZ Stadium in Sydney's west (known as Telstra Stadium until the conclusion of 2007). In February 2008, the Rabbitohs renewed their partnership with ANZ Stadium to play NRL home games and home finals at the venue for the next 10 years, commencing season 2008. The agreement runs until the end of 2017, superseding the inaugural three-year home ground arrangement at ANZ Stadium that started in 2006. During 2008 the City of Sydney Council [60] completed a $19.5 million upgrade and renovation of Redfern Oval. From season 2009, the upgraded Redfern Oval will provide the Rabbitohs with training facilities and a venue for hosting pre-season and exhibition matches. [60]

As well as their main home ground, South Sydney also play home games at Barlow Park in Cairns, the Sydney Football Stadium and at Perth Oval during the year.

As well as hosting Rabbitohs games, the stadium is also home to SEDA College NSW who host their rugby based curriculum at the venue.

Supporters

The South Sydney Rabbitohs continue to have a large supporter base in their traditional areas of South-eastern Sydney, despite having moved from Redfern Oval two decades ago, while also enjoying wide support throughout other rugby league playing centres around the country. [61] The official South Sydney supporter group is known as "The Burrow." [62] While their active supporter group is known as "Gate38" which is made up of young men who were involved in the "scumgate" scandal in 2013. [63]

The Rabbitohs have the highest football club membership in the National Rugby League, with membership exceeding 35,000 as of June 23, 2015. That member number also includes more than 11,000 ticketed members, the highest of the Sydney-based NRL clubs. It was announced during the 2010 Charity Shield game that both St George Illawarra and Souths had exceeded the 10,000 milestone, making the 2010 season the first time two Sydney clubs had entered the season with 10,000 ticketed members each. The club has members from every state in Australia and international members in 22 countries. Football club membership had peaked at some 22,000 when the club was re-admitted to the National Rugby League for season 2002. [64]

"Group 14", a collection of club backers including businessmen, politicians, musicians and media personalities, was formed before the Rabbitohs' exclusion from the NRL in 1999. [65] Members include Andrew Denton, Anthony Albanese, Deirdre Grusovin, Mike Whitney, Laurie Brereton, Rodger Corser, Mikey Robins, Ron Hoenig, Nick Greiner, Ray Martin, Cathy Freeman, Candice Warner and former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally. [66] [67] They contributed to South Sydney's bid for reinstatement, following the club's exclusion from the competition at the end of the 1999 season. A sustained campaign of public support that year, unprecedented in Australian sporting history, saw 40,000 people [68] attended a rally in the Sydney CBD in support of South Sydney's cause. [69] [70] In 2000 and 2001, public street marches took place in Sydney with in excess of 80,000 people rallying behind the Rabbitohs. [27] The club also has a number of high-profile supporters as well, many of whom were dominant figures in their battle to be readmitted into the premiership in 2000 and 2001. [71] [72] In 2007, supporters set a new club record for attendance with an average home crowd figure of 15,702 being the highest ever since the introduction of the home and away system in 1974. [73]

Reggie the Rabbit

Reggie the Rabbit is the Rabbitohs mascot. Founders by Kip Gambilin. The rabbit took lifesize form in 1968 when celebrity fan Kip Gamblin brought back a suit from the US in time for the 1968 grand final against Manly, won by the Bunnies 13–9. Perhaps the most notable of the early Reggies was the club's groundsman Reg Fridd. Standing just over four feet tall, the Rabbitohs lured the diminutive Kiwi from a touring production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the same troupe that had yielded the second Reggie, Roscoe Bova, tragically killed in a car accident in the early 70s. Most teams in the National Rugby League maintain mascots. But none do the sort of charity work as Reggie and none dare venture to opposition grounds as he does. Yet for the current Reggie, Charlie Gallico – a sub-five footer who runs a panelbeating shop on the side – it's all part of the job. For five years little Charlie has been quietly and anonymously volunteering his services to his club and community to maintain a sideline alter-ego as one of sport's most enduring symbols. During 2000 and 2001, when Souths was excluded from the NRL, Anth Courtney was Reggie Rabbit appearing at the second Town Hall rally and at games at Redfern Oval as well as being active in travelling extensively around the state to attend fundraisers as Reggie Rabbit. [74]

South Sydney Leagues Club

Souths Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford 1 Souths Juniors Sydney1.JPG
Souths Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford

The Juniors

The Juniors aka Souths Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford, New South Wales [75] [76] [77]

Juniors at the Junction

Juniors @ The Junction (Since 2009) – The result of a merger with South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club (Kingsford) and the struggling Maroubra Returned and Services League (RSL) Club. The club is on the site of the former Maroubra RSL club on Anzac Parade and Haig Street. [78]

The Juniors on Hawkesbury

The Juniors on Hawkesbury (Since 2008) – in the Hawkesbury River [79]

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

YearKit ManufacturerMain Shirt SponsorBack SponsorsSleeve SponsorsShorts Sponsors
1977-1978 Classic Sportswear VIP Insurance
1978-1980 Classic Sportswear KLG Sparkplugs
1981-1983 Classic Sportswear 100 Pipers Scotch
1984-1985 Classic Sportswear Ignis Refrigerators
1986-1991 Classic Sportswear Smith's Crisps
1992-1994 Classic Sportswear Northwest Airlines Amiga Computers
1995-1997 Classic Sportswear Canon Canon
1998 Classic Sportswear
1999 Classic Sportswear Downtown Duty Free RSL COM
2002 International Sports Clothing TV Week Arrive Alive
2003 International Sports Clothing Allight Arrive Alive
2004 International Sports Clothing Real Insurance Arrive Alive
2005 International Sports Clothing Real Insurance Arrive Alive
2006 International Sports Clothing Real Insurance Arrive Alive
2007 International Sports Clothing High concept and Real Insurance Firepower
2008 International Sports Clothing National Australia Bank and Firepower De'Longhi Trivest
2009 International Sports Clothing National Australia Bank De'Longhi V8 Supercars
2010 International Sports Clothing National Australia Bank De'Longhi V8 Supercars
2011 International Sports Clothing The Star De'Longhi V8 Supercars Kenwood
2012 International Sports Clothing The Star De'Longhi Kenwood Alcatel One Touch
2013 International Sports Clothing The Star De'Longhi Kenwood Alcatel One Touch
2014 International Sports Clothing Crown Resorts De'Longhi Fujitsu Alcatel One Touch
2015 International Sports Clothing Crown Resorts Fujitsu Crown Resorts Alcatel One Touch
2016 International Sports Clothing Crown Resorts Fujitsu Crown Resorts Alcatel One Touch
2017 International Sports Clothing Crown Resorts Fujitsu Crown Resorts Alcatel One Touch

Rivalries

A book, The Book of Feuds , chronicling the rivalries of the Rabbitohs with their NRL competitors was written by Mark Courtney at the instigation of Russell Crowe. It has been used as a motivational tool before Souths matches and was later released on sale to the public. [80]

Major

Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters – The Rabbitohs and their fans have built up rivalries with other clubs, particularly the Sydney Roosters (Eastern Suburbs), the only other remaining foundation club. [81] The Rabbitohs and the Roosters share inner-Sydney territory, resulting in a strong rivalry since 1908 when Souths beat Eastern Suburbs in the first grand final 14–12. Games between the neighbouring foundation clubs have since formed part of the oldest "local derby" in the competition. [82] The rivalry increased after 1950 due to conflict between junior territories and since the 1970s escalated once more as both clubs drew key players away from each other (Souths lost internationals Ron Coote, Elwyn Walters and Jim Morgan to the Roosters from their last era of premiership winning teams, whilst more recently Souths lured key forwards Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack and centre Shannon Hegarty away from the Roosters 2002 premiership winning side) & later Michael Crocker. In Round 1, 2010, the Rabbitohs and Roosters became the first clubs to play 200 matches against each other. The Roosters' 36–10 victory put the ledger at 105 games won by South Sydney, 90 by the Roosters (Eastern Suburbs) and 5 drawn. [83] To celebrate their rivalry, the Rabbitohs and Roosters contest The Ron Coote Cup annually. [84]

St. George colours.svg St George Dragons and St George Illawarra Dragons – The long-standing rivalry against the Dragons results in the annual Charity Shield match, originally played against the original St George Dragons and now (since their merger with Illawarra Steelers) played against the current team, St George Illawarra.

Minor

Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – Manly have, since 1970, purchased many of Souths' star players including John O'Neill, Ray Brannighan, Ian Roberts, [85] and more recently Luke Burgess [86] and Dylan Walker.

Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers – The rivalry with Wests continues from the historical rivalry between Souths and one of the teams that merged to form Wests, Balmain. The rivalry with Balmain began in 1909 when the Tigers failed to appear for the grand final and thereby forfeited to Souths. [6] [9] In the 1969 NSWRFL season enmity was again fueled between the clubs with Balmain's controversial [87] victory against the Rabbitohs in the grand final that year. [88]

Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – A more recent rivalry that primarily developed in the years 2014 and 2015, following a Grand Final and a controversial Good Friday match.

Statistics and records

South Sydney are the most successful club in terms of honours and individual player achievements in the history of NSW rugby league.

The club achievements include:

The club's players have also achieved some notable individual game and point scoring milestones:

Players

Current squad

2019 Squad

South Sydney Rabbitohs 2018 Squad
First team squadCoaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • Injury icon 2.svg Injured

Updated: 16 July 2017
Source(s): Rabbitohs Squad 2018

Notable players

No.PositionPlayer
1 Flag of Australia.svg FB Clive Churchill
2 Flag of Australia.svg WG Harold Horder
3 Flag of Australia.svg CE Herb Gilbert
4 Flag of Australia.svg CE Paul Sait
5 Flag of Australia.svg WG Ian Moir
6 Flag of Australia.svg FE Jimmy Lisle
7 Flag of Australia.svg HB Bob Grant
8 Flag of Australia.svg PR John Sattler (c)
9 Flag of Australia.svg HK Elwyn Walters
No.PositionPlayer
10 Flag of Australia.svg PR John O'Neill
11 Flag of Australia.svg SR George Treweek
12 Flag of Australia.svg SR Bob McCarthy
13 Flag of Australia.svg LK Ron Coote
14 Flag of Australia.svg RE Greg Hawick
15 Flag of Australia.svg RE Ray Branighan
16 Flag of Australia.svg RE Ian Roberts
17 Flag of Australia.svg RE Les Cowie
Flag of Australia.svg CO Jack Rayner (coach)

In 2002 on the Rabbitohs readmission to the competition, The Magnificent XIII, [92] a team consisting of great South Sydney players over the years was selected by a panel of rugby league journalists and former Souths players and coaches. The team consists of 17 players (four being reserves) and a coach representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club from 1908 through to 2002.

No.PositionPlayer
1 Flag of Australia.svg FB Clive Churchill (c)
2 Flag of Australia.svg WG Harold Horder
3 Flag of Australia.svg CE Ray Branighan
4 Flag of Australia.svg CE Paul Sait
5 Flag of Australia.svg WG Ian Moir
6 Flag of Australia.svg FE Alf Blair
7 Flag of Australia.svg HB Bob Grant
8 Flag of Australia.svg PR John Sattler
9 Flag of Australia.svg HK George Piggins
No.PositionPlayer
10 Flag of Australia.svg PR John O'Neill
11 Flag of Australia.svg SR Jack Rayner
12 Flag of Australia.svg SR Bob McCarthy
13 Flag of Australia.svg LK Ron Coote
14 Flag of Australia.svg RE Terry Fahey
15 Flag of Australia.svg RE Ziggy Niszczot
16 Flag of Australia.svg RE Elwyn Walters
17 Flag of Australia.svg RE George Treweek
Flag of Australia.svg CO Bernie Purcell (coach)

Season summaries

Foundation (1901) to Exclusion (1999)

SeasonLadder PositionFinals Result
19081stPremiers
19091stPremiers
19102ndRunner-up
19113rdFinalist
19124thDid Not Qualify
19133rd
19141stPremiers
19154thDid Not Qualify
19162ndRunner-up
19172ndDid Not Qualify
19181stPremiers
19196thDid Not Qualify
19202nd
19215th
19224th
19232ndRunner-up
19242ndRunner-up
19251stPremiers
19261stPremiers
19271stPremiers
19283rdPremiers
19291stPremiers
19303rdSemi-finalists
19312ndPremiers
19321stPremiers
19333rdSemi-finalists
19344thSemi-finalists
19352ndRunner-up
19367thDid Not Qualify
19372nd
19382ndSemi-finalists
19394thRunner-up
19406thDid Not Qualify
19417th
19425th
19435th
19444thSemi-finalists
1945Wooden Spoon (8th)Did Not Qualify
1946Wooden Spoon (8th)
19477th
19487th
19491stRunner-up
19501stPremiers
19511stPremiers
19523rdRunner-up
19531stPremiers
19542ndPremiers
19554thPremiers
19563rdPreliminary Finalists
19573rdPreliminary Finalists
19588thDid Not Qualify
19596th
19608th
19617th
1962Wooden Spoon (10th)
19639th
19645th
19654thRunner-up
19666thDid Not Qualify
19672ndPremiers
19681stPremiers
1969 1stRunner-up
19701stPremiers
19712ndPremiers
19724thSemi-finalists
19737thDid Not Qualify
19745thQualifying Finalists
1975Wooden Spoon (12th)Did Not Qualify
197610th
197711th
19787th
19799th
19805thQualifying Finalists
19819thDid Not Qualify
19826th
19838th
19845thSemi-finalists
19859thDid Not Qualify
19862ndSemi-finalists
19875thSemi-finalists
19888thDid Not Qualify
19891stPreliminary Finalists
1990Wooden Spoon (16th)Did Not Qualify
199114th
199214th
199314th
19949th
199518th
199619th
199711th
199818th
199912th
2000Excluded from competition
2001

Since 2002 readmission

P=Premiers, R=Runners-Ups, M=Minor Premierships, F=Finals Appearance, W=Wooden Spoons
CompetitionGames
Played
Games
Won
Games
Drawn
Games
Lost
Ladder
Position
PRMFWCoachCaptainNotes
2002 NRL Season 24501914 / 15 Craig Coleman Adam Muir Reinstated into the NRL Competition
2003 NRL Season 24302115 / 15X Paul Langmack Bryan Fletcher
2004 NRL Season 24521715 / 15X Paul Langmack
Arthur Kitinas
2nd Wooden Spoon in a row, midseason coach change
2005 NRL Season 24911413 / 15 Shaun McRae Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack Bryan Fletcher stripped of captaincy.
2006 NRL Season 24302115 / 15X Peter Cusack
2007 NRL Season 24120127 / 16X Jason Taylor Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell First Finals appearance since 1989 with new coach Jason Taylor
2008 NRL Season 24801614 / 16Equalled the 2nd biggest comeback in NRL history. After trailing 28–4 after fifty minutes, the Rabbitohs won the match 29–28.
2009 NRL Season 241101310/16 Roy Asotasi 100th Season
2010 NRL Season 24110139/16 John Lang
2011 NRL season 241101310/16
2012 NRL season 2416083/16X Michael Maguire Michael Crocker, Roy Asotasi, John Sutton, Matt King, Sam Burgess
2013 NRL season 2418062/16X John Sutton
2014 NRL season 2415093/16XXPremiers
2015 NRL season 24130117/16X Greg Inglis World Club Challenge, Auckland Nines champions.
2016 NRL season 24901512/16 Sam Burgess returns after stint in Rugby Union
2017 NRL season 24901512/16 Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess Captain Greg Inglis missed the entirety of the season following an ACL tear in round 1.
2018 NRL season 2416083/16X Anthony Siebold Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess

Honours

Club

1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014
1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969
1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989
1932, 1933, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1989
2010
2010
1912, 1919, 1921, 1924, 1925
1966, 1969, 1972, 1978
1981
1994
1988
2015
2015
1914, 1915
1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922
1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
1913, 1914, 1917, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1945, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1966, 1968, 1983
1912, 1918, 1925, 1928, 1933, 1962, 1969, 1981, 1986, 1989
1962, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1978

Individual

The George Piggins Medal is the award given to the Rabbitohs player determined to have been the "best and fairest" throughout an NRL season. The inaugural winner of the award in 2003 was Bryan Fletcher. In 2013, John Sutton & Greg Inglis became the first joint winners of the award. [94] [95]

Year George Piggins Medal Jack Rayner Players' Player AwardBob McCarthy Clubman of the Year AwardJohn Sattler Rookie of the year AwardRoy Asotasi Members’ Choice Award The Burrow Appreciation Award Female Player of the YearWomen's Players' Player Award The Burrow Appreciation Award (Womens) NYC Best and Fairest Award NYC Players’ Player
2003 Bryan Fletcher Luke Stuart Jason Death Mark Minichiello Justin Smith
2004 Ashley Harrison Ashley Harrison Ashley Harrison Joe Williams Mark Minichiello
2005 Peter Cusack Peter Cusack Luke Stuart Manase Manuokafoa and Yileen Gordon John Sutton
2006 David Fa'alogo Nathan Merritt Peter Cusack Germaine Paulson Nathan Merritt
2007 Roy Asotasi Roy Asotasi Luke Stuart Issac Luke Roy Asotasi Paul Mellor
2008 Luke Stuart Luke Stuart and Nathan Merritt Beau Champion Chris Sandow Luke Stuart Luke Stuart Trent Trotter Jason Clark
2009 John Sutton Luke Stuart Scott Geddes David Tyrrell Nathan Merritt Nathan Merritt Jason Clark Jason Clark
2010 Issac Luke Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Dylan Farrell Issac Luke Chris Sandow Matt Mundine Malcolm Webster
2011 Nathan Merritt Chris Sandow Michael Crocker Nathan Peats Michael Crocker Michael Crocker Kyle Turner Adrian Ha’angana
2012 John Sutton Greg Inglis Sam Burgess and Michael Crocker Adam Reynolds Adam Reynolds Adam Reynolds Luke Keary Jesse Roberts
2013 John Sutton and Greg Inglis Sam Burgess Matt King Dylan Walker Issac Luke Issac Luke Cameron McInnes Cameron McInnes
2014 Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Alex Johnston Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Cheyne Whitelaw Jack Gosiewski
2015 Greg Inglis Greg Inglis Ben Lowe Chris Grevsmuhl Bryson Goodwin Jason Clark Clayton Williams Clayton Williams
2016 Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Jason Clark Cody Walker Cody Walker Kyle Turner Maia Sands Maia Sands
2017 Sam Burgess Angus Crichton Damien Cook Cameron Murray Angus Crichton Angus Crichton Gabe Hamlin Campbell Graham
2018 Damien Cook Sam Burgess John Sutton Adam Doueihi Damien Cook Damien Cook Maddie Studdon Chloe Caldwell & Taleena Simon Chloe Caldwell & Grace Uluiburotu

See also

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  68. Reclaiming the Game: Fandom, Community and Globalisation, by Michael Moller, from the APINetwork website.
  69. In George We Trust, produced by Helen Grasswill, Australian Story transcript, 2 August 2001, from the ABC website.
  70. See the chapters Reclaim the Game and Taking it to the Streets in Mark Courtney's Moving the Goalposts, Halstead Press, 2000.
  71. See South's 2009 Corporate Partnership Brochure. Archived 15 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  72. "Warne's new job: being Shane Warne". The Sydney Morning Herald . AAP. 7 January 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  73. "Rabbitohs make ANZ Stadium home for next 10 years". rleague (from a South Sydney press release). 8 February 2008. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015.
  74. Time Out Sydney. "Sport in Sydney - Sydney Outdoor activities". Time Out Sydney. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  75. "The Juniors". thejuniors.com.au. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  76. Barlass, Tim (7 March 2013). "South Sydney Leagues Club in administration". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  77. Kent, Paul (26 March 2013). "Promises come to nought as Souths Leagues shuts with debts of $5.5m". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  78. "Clubs fight to survive". Southern Courier. 14 April 2009.
  79. "Juniors On Hawkesbury". thejuniors.com.au. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  80. "Bitter feud to get public airing", Adrian Proszenko, League HQ, 2 September 2007 Archived 7 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  81. Swanton, Will (21 August 2005). "Shove thy neighbour: Souths rule the roost". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  82. Payten, Iain (15 March 2007). "Souths' bitter blast at Roosters". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  83. Sign Craig Wing for Four Years from The Burrow website (www.theburrow.net.au), 25 June 2007
  84. Monahan, Jeremy (10 March 2010). "The rivalry between South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters is legendary". Southern Courier. Australia: News Community Media. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  85. Key Souths players purchased by Manly included internationals John O'Neill, Ray Branighan, Elwyn Walters, Mark Carroll, Terry Hill, Jim Serdaris and Ian Roberts and other stars such as Bob Moses, Tom Mooney and Craig Field.
  86. "Manly sign Luke Burgess". National Rugby League . 21 January 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  87. Balmain players feigned injury in order to slow down the game, disrupt Souths attacking momentum and run-down the clock to full-time – see the 1969 season summary (select the year 1969 from the dropdown box at the top of the page and then click the Search button) from the official South Sydney website.
  88. "Five of the best: grand final controversies". The Sydney Morning Herald . 1 October 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  89. List of Australian Rugby League Premiership Winners from the Sports Australia website.
  90. 1 2 Up until 2002, the second division of rugby league in New South Wales was Reserve Grade/Presidents Cup/First Division Premiers; since then, it has been the NSWRL Premier League.
  91. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Rabbitohs Club Records Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine . from the official South Sydney Rabbitohs website.
  92. See "The Magnificent XIII" in the article Hall of Fame in Souths The People's Team, edited by Angus Fontaine, League Week, ACP Publishing, 2002.
  93. Up until 1994, the top division of the premiership in New South Wales was the New South Wales Rugby League premiership; since then, it has been the Australian Rugby League (1995–1997) and the National Rugby League.
  94. "Inglis and Sutton Crowned as First Joint Winners of the George Piggins Medal in 2013". South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  95. "Greg Inglis Claims Best Try Award". 10 October 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2018.

Footnotes

Works cited