Milne, Tass, Thompson and Lovett Contract 2023-24 Extensions
1st September 2022
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the contract extensions of international Taane Milne, rookie centre Isaiah Tass, outside back Izaac Thompson and young back rower Ben Lovett until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Milne, 27, has played 49 NRL matches since making his debut for the Dragons on ANZAC Day in 2016, including 30 appearances for South Sydney since debuting for the Club against the Sharks in round ten, 2021. Milne has played ten Test matches for Fiji, represented Fiji in the World Cup Nines, played for the Junior Kiwis and played in the Australian Schoolboys team in rugby union.
Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison, said. "Every time Taane steps onto the field you know he is going to give his all. No one can ever question his effort and his enthusiasm to play hard and compete which translates from his training and his interactions with the rest of the squad. He is full of energy and has shown great resilience to bounce back from a number of setbacks early in his career and we believe Taane’s best football is in front of him."
Tass, 23, has played 12 games so far in his rookie season, scoring two tries whilst playing in the centres. Now in his second stint with the Rabbitohs after playing SG Ball Cup football with the Club, his form last year in the QLD Cup competition, coupled with his form and work ethic throughout 2022 saw him force his way into the Rabbitohs’ backline, forming a strong combination with his wingers and fullback in attack and his back rowers and halves in defence.
" Tassy’ has come along in leaps and bounds this year which is a testament to his willingness to work hard and learn from his experienced teammates around him. He has thrown himself into everything and has earned the opportunities he’s received this year. JD has shown faith in him and he’s repaid that faith with his excellent performances on the field and his dedication to his training and the Club off the field." Mr. Ellison said.
Thompson, 25, made his first grade debut for the Rabbitohs against the Warriors earlier this year in an inspirational comeback from injuries and other setbacks which had previously derailed his career. Thompson was the leading try scorer in the NSW Cup competition throughout 2022 until he progressed to the NRL side, scoring tries in both of his NRL appearances this year.
"Izaac’s story is quite remarkable. At one stage he had quit the sport and weighed over 140kg, but he has fought back and worked extremely hard to get himself into a position to become a regular first grade prospect. His hard work off the field is matched by the work he does for his team on the field and he is a noted try scorer at all levels.", Mr Ellison said.
Lovett, 20, has been a development player with the Rabbitohs throughout 2022 after winning the Club’s Jersey Flegg Cup player of the year award in 2021. The Parkes Spacemen junior is a graduate of the Black Rabbits Elite Player Development program and played in the NRL trial match earlier this year against the Cowboys in Cairns. A high work rate player with a powerful running game and strong defence on the edge, Lovett has featured in the Rabbitohs extended NRL squad in a number of rounds since making his comeback from an ankle injury suffered in the NSW Cup Charity Shield pre-season match.
"Ben’s game has progressed strongly throughout the year and he’s pushed for a spot in our top 17 on game day on many occasions. He’s a no-nonsense player that doesn’t take a backward step and he never shirks the tough work that needs to be done. He has found a home here at South Sydney after relocating from Parkes with no promises as to how far he would progress with our Club, but he has worked extremely hard to get to the point he has, and we expect him to continue to progress and make his NRL debut sooner rather than later."
Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison, says all four players have shown they have what it takes to compete at the NRL level of the game and beyond. "We could not be happier knowing that Taane, Isaiah, Izaac and Ben see their futures at the Rabbitohs,” Mr Ellison said. "We’re very happy to be extending the contracts of these four players with us here at South Sydney."
Izaac Thompson Date of Birth - 3 October 1996 Place of Birth - Auckland, NZ Height: 192cm Weight: 102kg Position - Wing Junior Club - Otahuhu Representative Honours - NSW U16s (2012)
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