Sean Garlick, a former South Sydney captain has highlighted the importance of Isaac Luke to the Bunnies side, by stating that he is just as valuable as new recruit Greg Inglis.

He also thinks that owner Russell Crowe and the Rabbitohs themselves should tie up the Luke deal quickly, and deal with any contract dispute, before things get too far out of hand.

“He’s in the same basket as a GI [Inglis] or a Cameron Smith,” Garlick said.

“You throw everything you have at them when you’re trying to get those blokes.

“They’re foolish to think we can lose him and not feel the consequences.”

Garlick also believes that Luke is the best hooker for the Rabbitohs since George Piggins played for Australia back in the 70’s.

It is a contract entanglement however, that has prevented Luke from officially signing a new deal with the Bunnies, in light of comments he made last year, where he let slip he had re-signed, or was close to doing so.

“Russell is one of the great assets the club has,” Garlick said. “If we want a player he goes and gets them or in this case makes sure we keep them.

“He’s pretty hands on, he’s close to all the players. But if he hasn’t been involved, he could be the man to make sure we keep [Luke].”

With the end of his contract looming, Luke wants to sign a long-term deal with the club, and at present, he is tied down to Gavin and Chris Orr of Pacific Sports Management.

For Garlick, there is no other option except to retain Luke, and he believes that he is an integral part of the team.

“They need him, simple as that,” he said.

“He was the best player in the game before he was injured last year.

“He was on track to win just about every award there is, Dally M included.

“We’ve got a really good team this year, but losing him would be a massive blow.

“He’s probably the best No 9 we’ve had since George Piggins. No one wants to see him go, so I’m sure the club’s doing everything they can.”

By ricky

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