South Sydney Rabbitohs 2012 season preview

The Burgess boys and incoming coach Michael Maguire hope 2012 will be the year of the Rabbitohs.

It has been four years since the Rabbitohs made it beyond the end of the regular season and, given the stars at the club’s disposal, missing out on the finals again will be hugely disappointing.

New coach Michael Maguire brings a winning mentality to Redfern but it is unlikely that alone will be enough.

Chris Sandow chose to join Parramatta and the Rabbitohs were unable to bring in a top line replacement. Without a quality halves pairing it could be a frustrating season.

Matt King is the only new face of note and South Sydney will be praying their star names spend more time on the field than on the treatment table.

If the Bunnies can keep everybody fit and young halfback Adam Reynolds adapts quickly to first grade football then South Sydney can sneak a top eight spot. 

But a couple of major absences and continued halves headaches will result in another trying campaign.

Prediction: 12th

Players in: Matt King (Warrington)

Players out: Chris Sandow (Eels), Ben Ross (Sharks), Shannon McPherson (Salford), Beau Falloon (Titans), Luke Stuart and Rhys Wesser (Both retired)

Coach: Michael Maguire – Having led Wigan to Grand Final and Challenge Cup success, Maguire has taken on the challenge of turning South Sydney into serious contenders in the next couple of seasons.

Star man: Nathan Merritt – Prolific flyer Merritt might not share the same profile as Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess or Dave Taylor but he is every bit as important to the Bunnies. Rarely given the credit he deserves, Merritt is one of the game’s top wingers.

Breakthrough year: James Roberts – Lightning quick fullback who scored five times in 10 appearances last season. Likely to be the club’s first choice number one in 2012.

Young gun: Adam Reynolds – Tipped as the man to replace Chris Sandow solve the Rabbitohs long-standing half back issues, Reynolds is highly regarded and excelled in the junior ranks. 

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