The Rabbitohs finished in seventh place last season and managed to make it through to the Preliminary Final, where the Panthers proved to be too good, 32-12. The Rabbitohs finished last season strongly, which in part was thanks to Latrell Mitchell, who came back from injury in the back half of the season. With a fit and ready Mitchell, how far can the Rabbitohs go this season?
Out of all the teams in the NRL, the Rabbitohs certainly had the quietest recruitment period. The Rabbitohs finished in seventh position on the ladder during the 2022 season, and will be hopeful for an improvement this season, as long as star players, like Latrell Mitchell can stay healthy for the majority of the season. During the off-season, the Rabbitohs didn’t recruit any new players.
In terms of the players they have lost from last season, they have said goodbye to Mark Nicholls and Kodi Nikorima, who have both headed north to play for the Dolphins. Meanwhile Jaxson Paulo, who was with the Rabbitohs for three seasons, makes the jump to rival club, the Roosters.
Outs: Mark Nicholls, Kodi Nikorima and Jaxson Paulo
Key Player: Latrell Mitchell
He is a headline maker for a reason, and Latrell Mitchell is the key player in this star-studded Rabbitohs squad. The Rabbitohs are a serious contender with Mitchell in the side, which was shown when he finally came back from injury last season. When he isn’t in the side, things slightly fall apart. Mitchell played 17 games last season, and he contributed 17 try assists. When a player can have that kind of impact on a team, you know they are the glue that holds everything together.
Rising Star: Josiah Karapani
If there are injuries within this young Rabbitohs squad, 20-year-old Josiah Karapani might have an opportunity to make a name for himself at the top level. He is extremely versatile, and he has received a lot of praise since coming across from the Warriors. Karapani has signed up to the Rabbitohs top 30 roster for the next two years, and he played a number of games in the NSW Cup for the team last season.
5 Key Matches To Watch
Match 1: Round 2, vs Panthers, at BlueBet Stadium (Thu, Mar 9, 7:50pm)
Match 2: Round 3, vs Roosters, at Allianz Stadium (Fri, Mar 17, 8:05pm)
Match 3: Round 10, vs Storm, at Suncorp Stadium (Sat, May 6, 7:45pm)
Match 4: Round 19, vs Bulldogs, at Accor Stadium (Sat, Jul 8, 7:35pm)
Match 5: Round 24, vs Dragons, at Barlow Park (Sat, Aug 12, 3pm)
2023 NRL Season Expectations
The Rabbitohs attack was on solid last year, and fans should be expecting an uplift in this department for the 2023 season, especially if Mitchell can string together 20+ games. The squad hasn’t really changed much from last year, and this has to help with consistency and cohesion. Look for the Rabbitohs to push for a top four spot, and if they don’t get there, they will still be in the Finals.