Beau Champion’s dream comes to an end

Now that he’s moved to the Storm, the dream that Beau Champion had of playing only for the Rabbitohs for his whole career has come to an end.

But the former Bunny knows that to do so these days is hard given that the salary cap is a key player in the NRL and for NRL clubs these days.

Despite his dream not being realised, for Champion, leaving the Bunnies was difficult as he looks to become a better player and further his career under Craig Bellamy, one of the best coaches in the NRL.

It is never a good feeling when a player is told to look elsewhere by a club, especially when they still have time left on their contract, and Champion admits he was hurt when Souths told him to do so.

“Everyone knows how much I love the club,” Champion said.

“Every time I pulled that jersey on I gave it my all. As a kid my dream was to play for the Rabbitohs. I have accomplished that now and that is something that will always be with me.

“I always wanted to play my career out here, but these days it is almost impossible to be a one-club man. It’s very difficult with the cap.”

In order to accommodate new recruit under the salary cap, the Bunnies threw up three names, Champion being one of those to move on, and he admits that he was hurt by the whole ordeal.

“I was a bit hurt at first,” Champion said. “They said, ‘Beau, you can stay if you want this year but you are off [contract] at the end of the year. We can resign you, but the amount of money you get won’t be as good as you can get elsewhere’.

“They basically said we have five players off and we can only keep three. They were very up front and honest. They said they would love me to stay but they explained their financial position.”

Champion knows that the move is for the best, as he looks forward to the newest chapter in his life at the Melbourne Storm.

“It has been the biggest decision of my career,” Champion said.

“But I basically had no choice. When I looked at it deeper and deeper, it was just too hard to fit it all in my head. The decision I made was inevitable because of their situation. If it didn’t happen now, it would have happened at the end of the year.

“In the end, the salary cap has brought this upon them. We just have too many players at the club and something had to give.”

Ironically, it was Champion who first made contact with Greg Inglis about joining the Rabbitohs, given that the two are second-cousins.

“The club is getting one of the best players in the world,” Champion said. “They have an opportunity to have Greg and improve their chances of winning a comp. I am happy that Greg can stay in rugby league. I have no hard feelings at all towards him.

“I haven’t talked to him much, because everything has been all over the shop lately. We had some quick words when all the talk started but there was a lot of the unknown. Greg is a champion player and bloke but this decision is about me, not him.”

Despite it all however, Champion has no hard feelings towards the club, and thoroughly enjoyed his time there.

“In the end, Souths have been fantastic to me,” he said. “They gave me the opportunity to play first grade and have always looked after me with anything I wanted to pursue. I have no hard feeling towards them at all. It is going to be tough to leave all my mates but this is something I have to do.”

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