Apprentices to masters for Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Apprentices to masters for Souths

By David Beniuk 26/07/2010 06:53:45 PM Comments (0)

They've done their apprenticeships under South Sydney's monster pack and now the Rabbitohs young forwards say they are ready to fill the holes created by a mounting injury toll.

Dave Taylor is the latest Souths big man to be sidelined, with confirmation he will undergo surgery on Tuesday and have a plate inserted to fix a broken collarbone.

The Queensland giant will miss at least six weeks and joins veteran Luke Stuart (hand), Scott Geddes (knee), Ben Ross (neck) and Michael Crocker (hamstring) on the Souths injury list.

Hooker Issac Luke has also been sidelined since dislocating his shoulder at training but is confident of returning for Friday night's clash with Canterbury.

The Rabbitohs' season was always going to be built on the strength of a huge pack and it is now up to the likes of Eddy Pettybourne, Dave Tyrell and Jason Clark to step into the breach in a tough run home.

"We've all been fighting for positions, everybody's trained hard and now that we're there in the tough end of the year we're ready to perform," 21-year-old Tyrell told reporters on Monday.

"We've got some key players out but I think we're pretty confident in our own abilities and we should be fine."

Pettybourne, 22, has been in impressive form since his own return from a broken jaw and was named by coach John Lang after Sunday's 38-28 win over the Warriors as the man to replace Taylor.

"If he said that I've got to step up a notch," Pettybourne told AAP.

"It's a big loss for us but we've got the depth that we have in the forwards to step up.

"I love playing the edge, that's where I kind of get my nose through the line so I'm pretty happy to get that spot again."

The Rabbitohs youngsters say their NRL readiness comes from being included in everything by the club's big names all year.

"It's a bond for everyone, our team has that brotherhood, we're a family so everyone's kind of the same," Pettybourne said.

"Whatever we bring onto that field is together.

"Everyone's friendly, no one hates each other, we're just that one team, like one band, one sound."

Tyrell played his junior football in the centres and started on the wing in the Rabbitohs' under-20s before moving to the engine room.

"I got a bit too big," the 100kg second-rower said.

"I lost a bit of speed but it's something I'm (still) definitely working on.

"I'm really enjoying it, I love defence."

English international Sam Burgess backed the young guns to fire behind himself and experienced Kiwi representative Roy Asotasi.

"Dave Tyrell and Jason Clark really stepped up for us when Dave got injured so I'm confident the boys will do a good job for us," Burgess said.

"I'm really confident they'll enjoy the challenge of the next six weeks."

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