Jai Arrow isn’t sure where he fits on the Rabbitohs squad roster yet – but has said the game is the same no matter what.
Arrow was named in the number 17 jersey for the Souths’ season opener against Melbourne, but don’t be shocked if you see Origin’s rep in the starting camp within a few weeks.
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“Wayne didn’t finalize that sort of thing, but my job has always been the same: playing the middle role, playing hard and having fun while I do it,” he told Wide World of Sports. .
“I love the physical side of the game that does the dirty work so I will continue to do that no matter where I play.”
Arrow made a commitment to the Bunnies ahead of the 2020 season, but played the season for the Titans before heading south to join a roster filled with quality midfielders. Tom Burgess, Junior Tatola, Cameron Murray and Arrow are expected to be the mainstays of the freshman squad, with talented players such as Mark Nicholls, Patrick Mago and Hame Sele battling to make the Seventeen.
“The whole team is quality but especially in the peloton – and it’s also a very young and mobile pack despite a lot of experience,” said Arrow.
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“Everyone is kind of thrilled with us and rates us pretty well, but those are just words. We don’t want to be the team that puts everything into words and shows no action, we want to be a team of ‘action … expectations, but I’m sure we’re up to the challenge. ”
One of the team’s stars in 2020, Keaon Koloamatangi, is expected to play much of his football on one edge rather than in the middle, where he impressed last year.
“He showed he can play there in the Charity Shield, did his job defensively, had strong carries – he’s definitely a handful and I can’t wait to see how he’s doing this year. he will do a great job, ”Arrow said of his new teammate.
The Suds head to Melbourne to take on the Premiers in the first round, with a chance of breaking two massive series – the Storm haven’t lost in the first round since 2001, and the Bunnies are a staggering 0-16 in Melbourne.
When told that the Rabbitohs had never won at AAMI Park or the Old Olympic Park, Arrow was surprised but not taken aback.
“I really know they haven’t lost a first round game in many years, so these are two hoodoos that we can break,” he said.
“It’s a quality team, but you have to beat the best to be the best.”
Breaking that drought in Melbourne would be nice, but the South’s biggest concern is how to overcome the bump of the last preliminary week – an obstacle they’ve stumbled over three years in a row and five times in the past ten seasons.
“We’re probably better off for that, we now have younger guys with that experience. We’re still in pain but it’s a new year and a new season and we’ll put that in the past,” captain Adam Reynolds told Wide World of Sports.
“We have our expectations of ourselves and we want to meet them. If we do all the right things, I’m sure we’ll be healthy by the end of the year.”
Arrow wasn’t there for those, of course, but knows the pain his teammates feel.
“We talked about it, the last three years they have been very close. But it’s a question of consistency and we have done a lot of work on defense, that’s the big problem,” he said. .
“The best defensive teams usually qualify for the grand final, so that’s the main focus of the preseason.
“The attack is there, but I find that when you defend yourself well, the attack takes place anyway.”
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