Thrust into first-grade after the departure of Adam Reynolds, many expected teething problems for Lachlan Ilias at the South Sydney Rabbitohs when he was named halfback.
Fast forward to the present day, however, and with help from the club and some veteran teammates, Ilias made his mark and was a key factor in the Rabbitohs making the eight.
Still 22, Ilias played in 24 NRL games in his debut year, and his new deal runs until the end of the 2025 season.
For Ilias himself, the chance to stay at the Rabbitohs, a club that means the world to him, was an easy decision to make.
“I’m really happy to have my contract sorted out and I’m even happier to know I’ll be a long-term player with the South Sydney Rabbitohs,” Ilias said.
“I’m really enjoying my first full season of NRL footy with the boys and the coaches, and I know we have more footy to come this year and into the future.
“I’ve won a Jersey Flegg competition with Souths and I’ll be doing everything I can to help us win an NRL premiership too.”
Ilias was also quick to thank the Rabbitohs’ fans, players and staff, for the support he has so far received in first-grade.
“I want to give a massive thank you to my family, my friends and the Club for always being by my side and supporting me through everything,” Ilias continued.
“I love the Club, the players, coaches and staff; the Members and supporters are second-to-none; and I’m really happy to be able to play my role in the success of this Club for the long term.”
The club praised Ilias for the transition into first-grade and believe he will only get better.
“Lachy has shown the poise, toughness and nous to play halfback at the NRL level in these early parts of his career and we know that his best football is in front of him. We’re just scratching the surface with Lachy,” said the Rabbitohs Head of Football, Mark Ellison.
“He is as impressive off the field as he is on it. He is learning to become a leader amongst a group of strong personalities, and we believe Lachy will be one of the leading halfbacks in the competition for a long period of time.