With Dennis Fitzgerald’s call for the Storm to be turfed out of the NRL
premiership going nowhere, focus inevitably shifts to the future of the South
Sydney Rabbitohs. The case is being made to “relocate” the Rabbitohs from Sydney to the
NSW Central Coast, but does the case have any
substance or merit? I believe not. But if the Rabbitohs are to survive as a viable,
competitive team in the NRL it’s going to need some high level assistance –
and some sound leadership from the Club’s own board and management.

The Rabbitohs, or Souths as traditionalists still regard them, are
steeped in the traditions of the game. The club was founded in 1908.
It’s as
old as rugby league in Australia itself. It has won 20 premierships –
five
more than the St George Dragons won prior to its merger with Illawarra.
The club has been travelling rather ordinarily in recent years. But
let’s face it, that’s not the fault of the club alone.

NRL must seriously consider how to help the Rabbitohs, or
any
other team struggling to get off the fag end of the premiership table.
It won’t have an internal draft. But some form of external draft that
gives priority access to new players – as opposed to existing
contracted
players – to the teams at the bottom end of the competition will have
to be
considered sooner or later. Whatever happens, the answer is not to
force a traditional club, with a
traditional support base in the city of Sydney, to relocate to a
regional
centre. It is a recipe for disaster and disharmony in every way.

Read the full story on the site here.

Peter Fray

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