South Sydney Rabbitohs

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league club based in Redfern, a suburb of inner-southern Sydney, New South Wales.[1] They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital, Sydney. They are often called Souths or The Bunnies.

South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs.png
Club information
Full nameSouth Sydney District Rugby League Football Club
Rabbitohs, Souths
The Pride of the League, The Bunnies, The Rabbits, The Red and Green, The Cardinal and Myrtle
Colours  Cardinal Red
  Myrtle green
Founded17 January 1908; 115 years ago (1908-01-17)
Current details
CEOBlake Solly
ChairmanNick Pappas
CoachJason Demetriou
CaptainCameron Murray
2022 season7th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Home colours
Away colours
Premierships21 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014)
Runners-up14 (1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969, 2021)
Minor premierships17 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989)
Wooden spoons8 (1945, 1946, 1962, 1975, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Most capped336John Sutton
Highest points scorer1,896Adam Reynolds
Arthur Hennessy, South Sydney's first captain and coach
Jack Rayner c. 1949, Premiership player and coach

The club was formed in 1908, as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League, making them one of Australia's oldest rugby league teams. The Rabbitohs were formed, under their original 1908 articles of association, with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and Botany. They are one of only two NSW foundation clubs still present in the NRL, the other being the Sydney Roosters.[note 1]

The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once typically working-class suburbs of inner-south Sydney. The club is based in Redfern, where the club's administration and training facilities are located, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is currently Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park. South Sydney are the most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league with 21 first grade premierships.


Origins (1908–1948)Edit

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall[2] when administrator J. J. Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Hoyle gathered together in front of a large crowd of supporters.[3] The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908.[3][4] The team went on to win the inaugural premiership then successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default.[5] During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was Souths' first captain and coach. He was also New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908. S. G. "George" Ball became Club Secretary in 1911 after Arthur Hennessy stood down from the position, and he remained in that capacity for over fifty years, only retiring a few years before his death in 1969.

After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 1925 to 1932, missing out only in 1930. The 1925 side went through the season undefeated[6] and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths' dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League".[2][7]

South Sydney struggled between 1940–1948. South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945–1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game.

Golden era (1949–1957)Edit

1949 would mark the beginning of almost a decade of great success for South Sydney, winning five of the six premierships from 1950 to 1955, and losing the 1949 Grand Final against St. George, and also the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances. The 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah[8] remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of '55"[9][10] involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever Australian rugby league players.

In-between years (1958–1964)Edit

In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 1958 to 1964, during this time receiving the 1962 wooden spoon.

"Glory years" (1965–1971)Edit

In 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their tenth straight premiership. The young Rabbitohs were not overawed by the Dragons' formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056[11] at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8.[12] The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 1967 to 1971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were later joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack.[13] From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken[14] in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall.[15][16]

Hard times and revival (1972–1989)Edit

Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league sides, was closed in 1973 but a "Save Our Souths" campaign ensured the club survived. "Super Coach"[note 2] Jack Gibson's arrival turned the club's form, winning the pre-season competition in 1978.[3] The club captured victories in the mid-week Tooth Cup competition in 1981[17] and in the pre-season "Sevens" competition in 1988.[3] The Rabbitohs made the finals on five occasions in the 1980s, including a dominant season to finish as minor premiers in 1989.[3] The 1989 season proved to be the club's most successful in years, but was also the last time the club reached the finals until 2007. The following season the Rabbitohs finished as wooden spooners.

Financial trouble, exclusion and readmission (1990–2002)Edit

The club stayed afloat in the 1990s despite major financial problems. Souths' only success came in 1994 when they won the pre-season competition, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 27–26 in the final.[3] The Super League War and the eventual formation of the National Rugby League affected the club greatly when it was determined in 1998 that the newly formed competition would be contracted to 14 teams for the 2000 season. Following a series of mergers by other teams,[note 3] and a planned merger with Cronulla-Sutherland was met with staunch opposition from both clubs,[18] South Sydney failed to meet the National Rugby League's selection criteria to compete in the competition and were subsequently excluded from the premiership at the end of the 1999 season.

South Sydney Rabbitohs shareholder, actor Russell Crowe.

In 2000 and 2001, South Sydney fought their way back into the competition following a string of high-profile legal battles[19] against the National Rugby League and News Limited.[20] A number of well attended public rallies took place during this time, as supporters from many different clubs got behind South Sydney's case. Upon appeal to the Federal Court in 2001,[21] South Sydney won readmission into the premiership for the 2002 season.[22]

NRL era (2002–present)Edit

Early struggles (2002–06)Edit

After being readmitted, the Rabbitohs were initially unsuccessful in the premiership, finishing amongst the bottom three teams for five seasons straight including three wooden spoons. However, following the club's takeover by actor Russell Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court in 2006,[23] the club has had great success in securing a number of major national and international player signings such as the four Burgess Brothers and Greg Inglis. The club was also successful in recruiting several key managerial positions including Jason Taylor as head coach in 2007 and Michael Maguire in 2012.

South Sydney was a party to one of the sponsorship deals promoted by the fraudulent company Firepower International.[24]

Building years (2007–11)Edit

South Sydney won their first three games of the 2007 season (marking their best start to a season since 1972) and being competitive in every game. On the back of one of the best defences in the competition, the Rabbitohs finished strongly making the semi-finals for the first time since 1989. They finished the season in seventh position, going down to Manly in the playoffs.

On 26 January 2008, the Rabbitohs lost 24–26 to the Leeds Rhinos in front of 12,000 fans at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time first-grade professional rugby league teams from Australia and England have played each other in the United States.

Broncos vs Rabbitohs 2008

May 2008 saw the sudden resignation of the then current Executive chairman and CEO, Peter Holmes à Court. He had been appointed to the role of CEO at the start of 2008.[25][26] Reports suggested that Holmes à Court had been forced to stand down after his relationship with Russell Crowe had deteriorated beyond repair.[27][28][29][30][31]

Warriors v Rabbitohs 2009

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during the 2008 National Rugby League season. That year they were named the National Trust's inaugural 'Community Icon', in recognition of the club's significant longstanding contribution to sport and sporting culture at both state and national levels.[32]

On 11 November 2010, South Sydney signed Melbourne back Greg Inglis on a three-year deal starting in the 2011 season.[33]

In April 2011, Souths announced Michael Maguire would replace retiring coach John Lang for the 2012 season, signing as head coach on a three-year deal.[34]

Michael Maguire (2012–17)Edit

In Maguire's first year as coach, South Sydney finished third at the end of the regular season, qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2007 and just the second time since 1989,[35] recording their 1000th First Grade win in the process.[36] Souths were eventually eliminated in the preliminary final, losing 32–8 to the Bulldogs.

In 2013, Souths finished second on the table, again reaching the preliminary finals before being knocked out by Manly in a 30–20 loss.

South Sydney finished third at the end of the regular season in 2014. In week 1 of the finals series they defeated Manly 40–24 and backing up in week 3 to beat the Roosters 32–22 in the preliminary final, qualifying for their first grand final since 1971, playing the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

After a slim lead of 6–0 early in the first half of the decider of the grand final, Souths went on to score 4 unanswered tries in the second to defeat Canterbury-Bankstown 30–6, breaking a 43-year drought to claim the premiership. Lock forward Sam Burgess received the Clive Churchill Medal despite playing the entirety of the match with a fractured cheekbone suffered in a head clash during the first tackle of the game. This was the last match Burgess played before his departure to rugby union.

On 9 October 2014, the South Sydney club were presented with the Keys to the City of Randwick by Mayor Ted Seng at a presentation ceremony at Souths Juniors in Kingsford and later the same day awarded the Keys to the City of Sydney by Lord Mayor Clover Moore at a reception at Sydney Town Hall.

On 23 October 2014, Holmes à Court sold his 50% share of Blackcourt League Investments Pty Limited, and consequently his 37.5% stake in South Sydney, to James Packer's ScrumPac Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings.[37]

South Sydney started the 2015 season in promising fashion before injuries to key players set in with the club finishing seventh on the table and qualifying for the finals. In week one of the finals they played against Cronulla in the elimination match and lost 28–12, ending their season.[38][39]

The 2016 NRL season proved to be a disappointing one for Souths as they finished 12th on the table, with only 9 wins for the entire season.[40]

The 2017 NRL season seemed to mirror the previous year with the club again finishing 12th on the table and captain Greg Inglis missing the entire season through injury after an anterior cruciate ligament injury acquired in the first game of the year. At seasons end, coach Michael Maguire was terminated and assistant coach Anthony Seibold was appointed head coach.[41][42]

Anthony Seibold (2018)Edit

For the 2018 NRL season, many experts[who?] predicted Souths to finish outside the top 8 but the club performed strongly throughout the year finishing third on the table at the end of the regular season. In week one of the finals, South Sydney played against Melbourne and looked to have secured the victory until a late try and a field goal gave Melbourne the win 29–28. In week two, South Sydney played against St George for the first time in the finals series since 1984. Souths won the match 13–12 thanks to three field goals from Adam Reynolds including one in the final minute of the match. In the preliminary final, Souths faced off against arch rivals Eastern Suburbs in what would also be the last match played at the Sydney Football Stadium. In front of a ground record crowd of 44,380, Souths were defeated 12–4.[43][44]

Wayne Bennett (2019–21)Edit

South Sydney started the 2019 NRL season strongly with the club winning 10 of their first 11 matches. Following the 2019 State of Origin series, Souths suffered a slump in form losing four games in a row. The club then recovered towards the end of the regular season winning 3 games in a row to finish in third place on the table and qualified for the finals series.[45][46]

South Sydney would go on to lose their qualifying final against their arch rivals the Sydney Roosters 30–6 in week one of the 2019 finals series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the elimination final against Manly-Warringah, Souths won a hard-fought match 34–26 at ANZ Stadium to reach their second consecutive preliminary final. In the preliminary final against Canberra, Souths would go on to fall short of a grand final appearance losing the match 16–10 at a sold out Canberra Stadium.[47][48][49]

South Sydney finished the 2020 NRL season in sixth place and qualified for the finals. Along the way, the club recorded big victories over Parramatta winning 38–0 and defeating arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters 60–8 which was Souths' biggest ever win over the club. Souths would then defeat Newcastle and Parramatta to reach the preliminary final against Penrith. In the preliminary final, Souths lost a close encounter 20–16 which ended their season. The result also meant it was the club's third straight preliminary final loss.[50][51]

South Sydney began the 2021 NRL season as one of the favourites to win the premiership. After losing to Melbourne in the opening round of the year, Souths went on to win the next seven games in a row. In the next three games however, the club suffered a 50–0 loss against Melbourne and a 56–12 loss against Penrith.[52][53] In round 22, they set a new record in the competitions 113-year history being the first club to score 30 points or more in eight consecutive matches.[54] Souths would go on to finish the regular season in third place after winning 13 of their last 14 matches.[55] In week one of the finals series, South Sydney defeated Penrith 16–10 to book a place in the preliminary final for the fourth season in a row. In the preliminary final, the club defeated Manly 36–16 to reach the Grand Final for the first time since 2014 and only the second time since 1971.[56] In the 2021 NRL Grand Final, South Sydney trailed Penrith 8–6 at the half-time break. In the second half, Souths player Cody Walker threw a long pass which was intercepted by Penrith's Stephen Crichton which saw the player score untouched under the posts. With five minutes remaining, South Sydney scored in the corner through Alex Johnston. South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds then had a conversion attempt from the sideline to make the game 14–14. Reynolds narrowly missed his attempt which went just wide of the post. In the final minute, Reynolds attempted a two-point field goal which fell short of the crossbar. Penrith would go on to win the match 14–12.[57]

Jason Demetriou (2022–present)Edit

Prior to the 2022 season, Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes became a partial owner of the Rabbitohs by buying one third of the management firm alongside Crowe and Packer. Together, these three own 75% of the Rabbitohs; the remaining 25% of the club is owned by fans.[58]

Following the departure of coach Wayne Bennett and captain Adam Reynolds, Rabbitohs assistant coach Jason Demetriou and lock Cameron Murray were appointed as head coach and captain respectively.[citation needed] The 2022 NRL season got off to a rough start for Souths, losing three of their first four games, including an upset loss to the Brisbane Broncos, and a golden point loss to the Melbourne Storm. However, Souths would finish the regular season strongly, winning seven of their last ten games, including a four game winning streak between rounds 16 and 19, and narrow losses to Cronulla-Sutherland and Panthers. South Sydney finished seventh with a win-loss record of 14-10.

In week one of the finals, Souths beat arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters 30-14 after losing to them the week prior. The game was notable for having seven sin bins (four of which were Souths players), setting a new record for the most sin bins in a single game.[citation needed] The following week, Souths beat the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in a one-sided match, winning 38-12, and advancing to a fifth consecutive preliminary final, where they would face the Penrith Panthers. After leading 12-0, Penrith scored five unanswered tries to win the game 32-12, ending South Sydney’s season.


The club mascot is the rabbitoh, a now-disused term that was commonly used in the early 20th century to describe hawkers who captured and skinned rabbits and then sold the meat at markets,[59] so named because they would shout "rabbit-oh!" around the markets and suburbs to attract buyers. The club is also informally referred to as the Rabbits, Bunnies or Souths.

Exactly how South Sydney came to be known as the Rabbitohs is unknown. According to one version of events, dating from pre-schism days at the turn of the 20th century, some of the club's players earned some extra money on Saturday mornings as rabbit-oh men, staining their jerseys with rabbit blood in the process; when they played in those blood stained jumpers that afternoon, opponents from wealthier rugby clubs did not always appreciate the aroma and would mockingly repeat the "Rabbitoh!" cry.[60] Another version was that the term was a disparaging reference by opposing teams to South's home ground being plagued with "rabbit 'oles"; in those early days Redfern Oval was then known as Nathan's Cow Paddock.[2] A third version claims the Rabbitoh name was adopted from that of the touring Australian rugby union teams of the early 1900s who were nicknamed "Rabbits" prior to discarding the name in 1908 in favour of the moniker "Wallabies".[61]

The "Rabbitoh" emblem, a running white rabbit, first appeared on the team's jersey in 1959. The Rabbitoh emblem has in various forms been carried as the club's crest on every player's jersey ever since. The original "Rabbitoh" emblem design that appeared on the team's jerseys throughout the 1960s and 1970s has now been incorporated on the current jersey.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during 2008. The club released a centenary emblem to commemorate the occasion. To also coincide with the centenary year, Souths opted to alter their logo by removing the red and green oval from their emblem for a solid white rabbit with the words South Sydney Rabbitohs set in uppercase type.


South Sydney has used cardinal red and myrtle green colours on its playing jerseys for the vast majority of the club's history. Prior to the establishment of the rugby league club in 1908, the South Sydney rugby union team originally wore a red and green hooped jersey. Some sources have suggested that this combination of colours was due to the local rugby union club being nicknamed the "Redfern Waratahs". The first British inhabitants had often called the waratah a "red fern" instead, hence giving the suburb its name, and ultimately the local rugby club its emblem. Red and green dominate the colours of the waratah and hence, possibly, the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club adopted these colours for their jerseys.[61] However, the suburb of Redfern was named in honour of William Redfern, one of the first doctors of the colony, who treated convicts and poor settlers as well as the wealthy.

The club's jersey has been a hooped-styled one comprising alternating red and green, and has been used for the vast majority of the club's history.[62] In 1945 and 1946 the club broke with this tradition and used a green design with a red "V" around the collar, before reverting to the original hoop style. From 1980 to 1984 the team played in a strip which saw the inclusion of white hoops within a predominately green design with a central red stripe and was affectionately known as the "Minties"[63] jersey (so-called due to its apparent similarity to the wrapper design of the popular sweet). With the introduction of "away" jerseys towards the end of the 20th century, the club initially introduced a predominantly white jersey for away matches which was changed to a predominantly black one for the 2006 season.

Before the start of the 2007 season, the club announced that the away jersey would be styled identically to the traditional home jersey, with the exception of sponsorship and the rabbit emblem, which has been styled similarly to the one that initially featured on jerseys in the 1960s.[64] For season 2009, the rabbit emblem is black for home matches whilst the emblem is the original white for away matches.[65]

The playing shorts worn were historically black, though in the late 1970s the club adopted green shorts with a red vertical stripe. This was then superseded by the white shorts of the "Minties" outfit. When the club subsequently reverted to their traditional playing strip, the decision was made to wear black shorts once more. In 2008 the Rabbitohs wore white shorts to match the white stripe running down the side of their jersey.

Geographic areaEdit

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (precursor to the current corporate entity) was formed, under the original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Alexandria, Botany, Mascot, Waterloo, Maroubra and Zetland.[citation needed]

Souths have a proud history of Indigenous players from the local district clubs including La Perouse United, Redfern All Blacks and Indigenous recruits from Country NSW.


During the early years of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, "home games" were not assigned very often. However, South Sydney played most of their games at the Royal Agricultural Society Ground (Sydney Showground) from 1908 until the club's departure in 1920. From 1911 onwards, the Sydney Sports Ground was also used interchangeably with the Agricultural Ground over a decade for hosting matches.[66] In 1947 the club played its final season at the Sports Ground, before relocating to Redfern Oval in 1948.[67] It was here that team played in the heart of the club's territory and played the vast majority of its allocated home matches.

Stadium Australia, the Rabbitohs current home ground.

In 1988, the club began to play in the Sydney Football Stadium,[68] just built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground No. 2 Oval. The side continued to play here up until 2005, with the exception of 2000 and 2001 when South Sydney was absent from the premiership. During 2004–2005, when the Rabbitoh's contract with Sydney Football Stadium was about to expire, new home grounds were investigated at Gosford, North Sydney Oval and Telstra Stadium. Eventually the decision was made to relocate to Telstra Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park. The move was generally not well received by the fans,[69][70] but provided considerably more income for the club, which was several million dollars in the red at the end of 2005.[71]

Redfern Oval, Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers pre-season trial game, 8 February 2009.

In 2006, the club relocated home games to Stadium Australia in Sydney's west (known as Telstra Stadium until the conclusion of 2007). In February 2008, the Rabbitohs renewed their partnership with Stadium Australia (which was then known as ANZ Stadium) to play NRL home games and home finals at the venue for the next 10 years, commencing season 2008. The agreement ran until the end of 2017, superseding the inaugural three-year home ground arrangement at ANZ Stadium that started in 2006.[citation needed]

As well as their main home ground, South Sydney also play home games at the Sunshine Coast Stadium and at the Central Coast Stadium during the year.[citation needed]

During 2008 the City of Sydney Council[72] completed a $19.5 million upgrade and renovation of Redfern Oval. From season 2009, the upgraded Redfern Oval provided the Rabbitohs with training facilities and a venue for hosting pre-season and exhibition matches.

In 2023, the Rabbitohs relocated their headquarters and first team training facilities from Redfern Oval to the Heffron Centre,[73] a $58M community sporting complex in Maroubra owned by Randwick City Council.[74] The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ $26M Community and High Performance Centre provides training facilities for the NRL, Women’s and NSW Cup teams, as well as facilities for the administrative, commercial and Souths Cares staff members.[citation needed]


The South Sydney Rabbitohs continue to have a large supporter base in their traditional areas of South-eastern Sydney, despite having moved from Redfern Oval two decades ago, while also enjoying wide support throughout other rugby league playing centres around the country.[75] The official South Sydney supporter group is known as "The Burrow".[76]

South Sydney at one stage had the highest football club membership in the National Rugby League, with membership exceeding 35,000 as of June 23, 2015. That member number also included more than 11,000 ticketed members, the highest of the Sydney-based NRL clubs. Following the conclusion of the 2021 NRL season, new figures showed South Sydney to have the second highest membership of Sydney NRL clubs behind Parramatta.[77]

It was announced during the 2010 Charity Shield game that both St. George Illawarra and Souths had exceeded the 10,000 milestone, making the 2010 season the first time two Sydney clubs had entered the season with 10,000 ticketed members each. The club had members from every state in Australia and international members in 22 countries. Football club membership peaked at some 22,000 when the club was re-admitted to the National Rugby League for season 2002.[78]

"Group 14", a collection of club backers including businessmen, politicians, musicians and media personalities, was formed before the Rabbitohs' exclusion from the NRL in 1999.[79] Members include Anthony Albanese, Laurie Brereton, Michael Cheika, Rodger Corser, Michael Daley, Andrew Denton, Cathy Freeman, Nick Greiner, Deirdre Grusovin, Ron Hoenig, Ray Martin, Mikey Robins, and Mike Whitney.[80][81] They contributed to South Sydney's bid for reinstatement, following the club's exclusion from the competition at the end of the 1999 season. A sustained campaign of public support that year, unprecedented in Australian sporting history, saw 40,000 people[82] attended a rally in the Sydney CBD in support of South Sydney's cause.[83][84] In 2000 and 2001, public street marches took place in Sydney with in excess of 80,000 people rallying behind the Rabbitohs.[22] The club also has a number of high-profile supporters as well, many of whom were dominant figures in their battle to be readmitted into the premiership in 2000 and 2001.[85][86] In 2007, supporters set a new club record for attendance with an average home crowd figure of 15,702 being the highest ever since the introduction of the home and away system in 1974.[87]

Notable supportersEdit


Reggie the RabbitEdit

Reggie the Rabbit is the Rabbitohs' mascot. The mascot first appeared in lifesize form in 1968 after celebrity fan Don Lane brought back a suit from the US in time for the 1968 grand final against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, won by the Rabbitohs 13–9. Perhaps the most notable of the early Reggies was the club's groundsman Reg Fridd. Standing just over four feet tall, the Rabbitohs lured the diminutive New Zealander from a touring production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the same troupe that had yielded the second Reggie, Roscoe Bova, killed in a car accident in the early 1970s. Most teams in the National Rugby League maintain mascots. During 2000 and 2001, when Souths was excluded from the NRL, Anth Courtney was Reggie Rabbit appearing at the second Town Hall rally and at games at Redfern Oval as well as being active in travelling extensively around the state to attend fundraisers as Reggie Rabbit.[93][94][95][96]

South Sydney Leagues ClubEdit

Souths Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford

The JuniorsEdit

The Juniors aka Souths Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford, New South Wales has been the club's leagues club since the old Souths Leagues closed in 2013.[97][98][99] The club is owned by the South Sydney District Junior Rugby Football League.

Juniors at the JunctionEdit

Juniors @ The Junction (Since 2009) – The result of a merger with South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club (Kingsford) and the struggling Maroubra Returned and Services League (RSL) Club. The club is on the site of the former Maroubra RSL club on Anzac Parade and Haig Street.[100]

The Juniors on HawkesburyEdit

The Juniors on Hawkesbury (Since 2008) – in the Hawkesbury River[101]

South Sydney Leagues ClubEdit

The South Sydney Leagues Club, colloquially known as Souths Leagues, was the club's official leagues club. The club closed in 2013 after being placed into administration with large debts.[98][99]

Culture and traditionEdit

In 1999 Russell Crowe bought the foundation bell at the Red and Green Ball for the club.[102][103][104]

Team songsEdit

Glory, Glory to South SydneyEdit

The club's most well known song is played when the team runs out for home games and after victories at home. Originally recorded in 1967 [7] by the Will Dower Sounds as "South's Victory Song" [sic], "Glory, Glory to South Sydney" is one of the best-known NRL team songs, in the same vein as the AFL's club songs, prominently featuring in promotional materials, merchandise and even the #GGTSS hashtag.

The original version was written when there were 10 clubs in the NSWRFL premiership, and predates the admission of Penrith and Cronulla-Sutherland for the 1967 season, despite its release date.

The song is likely to have been inspired by Glory Glory (football chant), sharing Battle Hymn of the Republic's tune and coincided with the club's most recent "golden era". While the NSWRFL premiership had been won for 11 consecutive seasons by the St. George Dragons, the Rabbitohs had a strong team and won the 1967 NSWRFL premiership, going back-to-back in 1968 and winning all but one Grand Final between then and 1971.

The song was heavily played and featured in the club's "fightback" effort when they were excluded from the 14-team NRL seasons in 2000 and 2001. In 2004, Allan Caswell wrote an updated and modernised version, referencing the 15 teams in the NRL Telstra Premiership at the time, which was played at home games for several years before being replaced by the original.

Somewhat controversially, whilst sponsored by Real Insurance in 2005 and 2006, the club made their entrance to a version of The Real Thing as a tie-in. Upon the expiration of the deal, the club reverted to "Glory Glory", but this time a modernised pop version incorporating only the chorus and "South Sydney" chant sung by a female vocalist.

As of 2023, the original 1967 version is used officially by the club[17] and featured at the club's 2014 and 2021 Grand Final appearances.

1967 Lyrics[9] 2004 Lyrics[11]
South Sydney marches on!


Glory, Glory to South Sydney

Glory, Glory to South Sydney

Glory, Glory to South Sydney

South Sydney marches on

When speaking of the champions, one stands above the rest

Of glories old and records proud, when often put to test

Of fine traditions, history, that others cannot best

They wear the Red and Green


They mauled the Balmain Tigers

Slew the Dragons from St. George

The Seagulls and the Mounties next

Were crushed by mighty force

They humbled Parramatta

And the Berries in due course

They wear the Red and Green


They plucked the Western Magpies

Slashed the Newtown bag of blue

The Eastern Suburbs Rooster crowed

And then was conquered too

The greatest name in any game

Within South Sydney grew

They wear the Red and Green

Chorus x2

South Sydney marches on!

South Sydney marches on!


Glory, Glory to South Sydney

Glory, Glory to South Sydney

Glory, Glory to South Sydney

South Sydney marches on

When you speak of champions, the Rabbits stand alone

Others come and others go, pretenders to the throne

We’re standing by our record, it’s been tested to the bone

We wear the Red and Green


We’re marching on the road to glory like we’ve always done before

The Tigers and the Panthers: we’ve taken out their claws

The Roosters and the Eagles with their feathers on the floor

We wear the Red and Green


The Melbourne Storm, Cronulla Sharks and Parramatta Eels

The Warriors and the Cowboys, they all know how it feels

The Bulldogs and the Raiders and the Knights know we’re for real

We wear the Red and Green


We’ll meet the Broncos up in Brisbane and we’ll play them, tough and strong

We’ll fire up for the Dragons at Kogarah or the ‘Gong

We’ll hail the mighty Rabbitohs with our famous victory song

We wear the Red and Green!

Chorus x2

South Sydney marches on!

Victory songEdit

The Rabbitohs' victory song (also known as the "player's song"[12]) appears to be of pre-WWII origin, but awareness has grown over the years and especially around the passing of club legend John Sattler, whose performances of the song around the club's 2014 and 2021 NRL Grand Final in various media have become somewhat iconic within the South Sydney community and were played after the club's win the week after his passing.

The lyrics have varied over the year in a form of Oral tradition - the current version sung by the players after a win only features the first verse/stanza, preceded recently (in 2023) by a player or special guest calling out "If You're Happy and You Know It", responded en masse with claps.

The tune of the song differs by segment - the main part as still sung, according to John Sattler's version, is based off of the melody of The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Current lyrics
And now that we're all around the bar

And the Captain's declared it a quorum

We are drinking our way through the night

And we're having the time of our lives

Throw the empties away, start again!

Start again!

For the boys of South Sydney are together

And we'll drink 'til the dawn breaks again!

May the sessions of South Sydney last forever

Up the Rabbitohs!

The version of the song that appears to have been sung during John Sattler's time at the club, that has since become well-known, features the same opening stanza as the current version (sans the closing "Up the Rabbitohs!" catchcry), sung to the tune of The Stars and Stripes Forever, followed by the following lyrics to the tune of Notre Dame's Victory March.

Second verse as sung by Sattler Alternate second verse[14]
To the tune of the Notre Dame Victory MarchOh, we never stagger, we never fall

We sober up on pure alcohol

While our loyal sons are marching

Up to the bar for more!

To the tune of The Stars and Stripes ForeverAnd now that the beer has all gone

And we're wending our way slowly homeward

We're singing this happy refrain

To the girls that we'll meet once again

For we know that we always can go

To the club where the good beer's always flowing

And we'll drink 'til the dawn breaks again!

May the sessions of South Sydney last forever

Up the Rabbitohs!

The following lyrics have also been performed by Sattler in interviews, to various tunes

Further verses as sung by Sattler
And we'll guzzle, guzzle, guzzle

And we'll tip it down our muzzle

And sing out the order loud and clear: more beer!

We'll drink all night

Until we're very tight

In the sheds of wherever we are

We've got six hefty forwards

And seven greasy backs

And plenty of Rabbit barrackers to keep the bludgers back

When the skin and hair is flying and the slaughter has begun

Three cheers for the good old Rabbitohs for the victory we have won!

Botany RoadEdit

The Burrow (supporters' group) began singing a chant to the tune of Take Me Home, Country Roads during the club's resurgence in the 2010s, generally reserving this chant for when victory was assured within 5 minutes of full time.

Flags, banners and scarves bearing Botany Road are found throughout South Sydney's supporters at games, referencing the eponymous road that runs through the heart of the South Sydney geographical area.

The song is now an iconic part of the Rabbitohs fan experience, especially during rivalry and Finals Series games. The early repetitions are normally sung at a slow and deliberate pace a capella, with the pace increasing closer to full time and supporters clapping along as the time runs down.

Take me home, Botany Road

To the place I belong

Back to Redfern, South Sydney

Take me home, Botany Road!

Other club songsEdit

The Burrow chantsEdit

The Burrow have numerous Football chants, both in support of the club and its players as well as against rivals. Some of the most prominent songs and chants, as found in their songbooks, include "South Sydney 'Til I Die", "Rabbitohs", the aforementioned "Botany Road" and several player-based songs, including a version of Whole Again in appreciation of Damien Cook.

The Burrow also gather in their bay to sing their own version of Under the Southern Cross I Stand after Rabbitohs victories, adapted from the Australian national cricket team.

Fightback-era songsEdit

During the club's exile, numerous supporters of the club contributed songs to raise awareness of their plight and to serve as a fundraiser through the sale of "The Glory of South Sydney"[1] CD and VHS.

Allan Caswell and Mark Egan penned "Souths Can Stand Alone", which was performed at several fundraisers and protests. The song claims "if they dump South Sydney, they're dumping Rugby League" and thanks George Piggins for his efforts. A music video featuring a montage of South Sydney moments and heroes was included on the VHS version.[2]

Caswell himself became a prominent figure in the campaign, creating several satirical or parody versions of well-known songs, including the club's own "Glory Glory", in protest of News Corp Australia and the National Rugby League's decision to exclude South Sydney from the 2000 and future seasons.

Other contributions included "Glory in their Eyes", a song by John Maclean that touches on the long period since Souths' last premiership and the struggle of long-time Souths supporters having to accept the loss of their club, "Rabbitohs" by Daniel Lissing which concludes with the line "South Sydney marches on" in defiance of their exclusion, as well as "Calling All Rabbits" which was constructed from commentary and news soundbytes relating to famous moments on-field, the fight to remain in and return to NRL competition and the like.

Other songsEdit

One of the more famous South Sydney inspired songs in recent years is "The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw"[3] by Perry Keyes and later covered by The Whitlams and the Black Stump Band, referencing not only the famous heroics of John Sattler in the 1970 Grand Final, but also life in 1970s Australia and inner-city Sydney. The song's chorus incorporates Frank Hyde's famous "if it's high enough, if it's long enough, it's straight between the posts" commentary.

A Rabbitohs fan covered Eddie Vedder's song All the Way, adapting the original's references to the Chicago Cubs' century-long struggle to win their next World Series to South Sydney's exclusion and long premiership drought, and the ending of that drought in 2014. The Cubs would win their first World Series since 1908 (also the year Souths participated and won in the inaugural NSWRFL competition) in 2016.

Several supporters have written songs of their own, occassionally garnering some interest within the community.

Pre-game, Souths often have a hype package put together as well as team lineups presented to music. Previous choices for these have included Cochise, Kryptonite and Hail to the King, often interpolated with the "South Sydney" chant just prior to the entrance of the players.

Kit sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Year Kit manufacturer Main shirt sponsor Back sponsors Sleeve sponsors Shorts sponsors
1977–1978 Classic Sportswear VIP Insurance
1978–1980 KLG Sparkplugs
1981–1983 100 Pipers Scotch
1984–1985 Ignis Refrigerators
1986–1991 Smith's Crisps
1992–1994 Northwest Airlines Amiga Computers
1995–1997 Canon Canon

Proposed: Souths Juniors (rejected by NRL)

1999 Downtown Duty Free RSL COM
2002 International Sports Clothing TV Week Arrive Alive
2003 Allight Linddales Personnel
2004 Linddales Personnel


2005 Real Insurance/Cinderella Man (select fixtures) Real Insurance Linddales Personnel


2006 Real Insurance Real Insurance/Glen Alpine Properties BBX


2007 Firepower (home)/High Concept (away)

Placement alternated on back/sleeves

Virgin Blue
2008 National Australia Bank (home)/De'Longhi (away)

Placement alternated on back

20092010 State of Play (film)
2011 Star City (home)/De'Longhi (away)

Placement alternated on back

V8 Supercars Kenwood
20122013 Star City/The Star (home)/De'Longhi (away)

Placement alternated on back

AFEX (sternum)

Kenwood Alcatel One Touch
2014 Crown Resorts/Fujitsu Fujitsu
20152017 Crown Resorts
2018 Fujitsu/Crown Resorts Fujitsu PlayUp
2019 Aqualand/Alcatel

Zoom (sternum)



2020 Safe2Pay/Wotif


Crown Resorts MenulogHostplus
2021 Classic Sportswear Aqualand/TCL

Zoom (sternum)

MenulogTCL/Aqualand Ingenia Holiday Parks
2022 MG MotorWotif (sternum) MenulogAqualand


A book, The Book of Feuds, chronicling the rivalries of the Rabbitohs with their NRL competitors was written by Mark Courtney at the instigation of Russell Crowe. It has been used as a motivational tool before Souths matches and was later released on sale to the public.[105]


  Sydney Roosters – South Sydney and their fans have built up rivalries with other clubs, particularly the Sydney Roosters (Eastern Suburbs), the only other remaining foundation club.[106]

While South Sydney were historically strongly working class, the Roosters were viewed by South’s supporters as ‘Silvertails’ - supported by upper class folk from Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

South Sydney and the Roosters share inner-Sydney territory, resulting in a strong rivalry since 1908 when Souths beat Eastern Suburbs in the first grand final 14–12. Games between the neighbouring foundation clubs have since formed part of the oldest "local derby" in the competition.[107] The rivalry increased after 1950 due to conflict between junior territories and since the 1970s escalated once more as both clubs drew key players away from each other (Souths lost internationals Ron Coote, Elwyn Walters and Jim Morgan to the Roosters from their last era of premiership winning teams, whilst more recently Souths lured key forwards Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack and centre Shannon Hegarty away from the Roosters 2002 premiership winning side) and later Michael Crocker. Other players to run out for both clubs include Ashley Harrison, Luke Keary, Angus Crichton, Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Latrell Mitchell. In round 1, 2010, South Sydney and Roosters became the first clubs to play 200 matches against each other. The Sydney Roosters 36–10 victory put the ledger at 105 games won by South Sydney, 90 by the Roosters (Eastern Suburbs) and 5 drawn.[108] In 2014, Souths defeated the Sydney Roosters in the preliminary final to reach their first grand final in 43 years. In 2018, the Sydney Roosters defeated Souths 12–4 in the preliminary final at Allianz Stadium which was the last game to be played at the venue. The crowd of 44,380 was also a ground record.[109] In 2019, the two clubs met in the qualifying final which was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. South Sydney had beaten the Sydney Roosters only a week prior in the final game of the regular season but in the qualifying final, the Roosters won the match 30–6 in a dominant display.

In 2020, the Sydney Roosters managed to record a victory over South Sydney 28–12 in round 3. In the final round of the 2020 NRL season, Souths defeated the Sydney Roosters 60–8. This was the biggest win South Sydney had ever recorded over their rivals eclipsing the previous score set in 1952 when Souths defeated Eastern Suburbs 52–0.[110][111]

Before round 25 of the 2022 NRL season where the two sides were to meet, Sydney Roosters CEO Nick Politis issued a warning to South Sydney stating that the new Sydney Football Stadium has always been the home ground and territory of the Eastern Suburbs club and not South Sydney. Souths had declared they wanted to leave Stadium Australia and make the new Sydney Football Stadium as their home ground. Politis said to Fox Sports “I’ve heard other people say they want to play there because it’s their home, The point is we’ve been there since 1928. We started with the old sports ground and then 30 years with the old Allianz Stadium, Nobody else has played there. For another club to say we want to go there because it’s our home, it’s not their home. The Roosters are the only people that belong there. It’s our true home and it’s very sacred".

Despite Politis claims, the South Sydney club had used the Sydney Sports Ground as a home ground before Eastern Suburbs and the two clubs often ground shared for the first 30 years of its existence at the venue. In the 2022 elimination final, seven players were sin binned which was the most in an NRL era game as South Sydney upset the Sydney Roosters 30-14 ending their season.[112] To celebrate their rivalry, South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters play for the Ron Coote Cup annually.[113]

  St George Dragons and St George Illawarra Dragons – The long-standing rivalry against St. George results in the annual Charity Shield match, originally played against the original St. George Dragons and now (since the joint venture formed with Illawarra Steelers) played against the current team, St. George Illawarra.

South Sydney and St. George have met several times in grand finals prior to the joint-venture and being the north-eastern neighbours of St. George, had many fierce encounters. In 2001, South Sydney chairman and club legend George Piggins said there would be no chance of the Charity Shield being revived if Souths were to be included back into the NRL saying "The Dragons: They sold us out". This was in reference to St. George signing an affidavit at the time which included that it would be detrimental if Souths were returned to the competition.[114]

In 2018, both sides met for the first time in a finals match since 1984. Souths won a close semi-final 13–12.[115]

  Balmain Tigers – From 1908-1999, South Sydney had a fierce rivalry with Balmain. The rivalry with Balmain began in 1909 when both teams agreed to boycott the final which was being held as curtain raiser to a Kangaroos v Wallabies match. As agreed, Balmain did not turn up. However, Souths did turn up and were officially awarded the Premiership when they kicked off to an empty half of the field.[2][5]

South Sydney would later meet Balmain in the 1916 premiership final which Balmain won 5–3. In 1924, Balmain and Souths met in the grand final which is also the lowest scoring grand final in NSWRL/NRL History. Balmain ran out 3-0 winners with the match only seeing one try.[116] In 1939, Balmain and Souths met once more in the grand final with Balmain winning 33–4. In the 1969 NSWRFL season enmity was again fueled between the clubs with Balmain's controversial[note 4] victory against South Sydney in the grand final that year.[118][119]


  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – South Sydney first met Manly-Warringah in the 1951 NSWRFL season's Grand Final. South Sydney would win the match 42-14 which as of 2022 is the highest scoring grand final in NSWRL/NRL history. Souths would then meet in the 1968 and 1970 grand finals which South Sydney both won. In the 2013 preliminary final, Souths were looking to reach their first grand final since 1971 when they faced off against Manly. Souths lead the match 14-0 early on but were eventually defeated by Manly 30–20. In the 2021 NRL season, South Sydney and Manly once again met in the preliminary final but on this occasion South Sydney ran out comfortable winners to reach the 2021 NRL Grand Final.[120]

Manly have, since 1970, purchased many of Souths' star players including John O'Neill, Ray Branighan, Ian Roberts,[note 5] and more recently Dylan Walker.[121]

  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – A more recent feud that primarily developed in the years 2014 and 2015, following the 2014 NRL Grand Final and a controversial Good Friday match. They were also Grand Finalists in 1967 with South Sydney prevailing 12−10.[122] Annually, South Sydney and Canterbury-Bankstown compete in the Good Friday game, competing for the Good Friday Cup.


Current squadEdit

Top 30 Squad - 2023 NRL Season Development List Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 8 February 2023
Source(s): Rabbitohs Squad

2023 Signings & TransfersEdit

Notable playersEdit

No. Position Player
1   FB Clive Churchill
2   WG Harold Horder
3   CE Herb Gilbert
4   CE Paul Sait
5   WG Ian Moir
6   FE Jimmy Lisle
7   HB Bob Grant
8   PR John Sattler (c)
9   HK Elwyn Walters
No. Position Player
10   PR John O'Neill
11   SR George Treweek
12   SR Bob McCarthy
13   LK Ron Coote
14   RE Greg Hawick
15   RE Ray Branighan
16   RE Ian Roberts
17   RE Les Cowie
  CO Jack Rayner (coach)

In 2002 on the Rabbitohs' readmission to the competition, The Magnificent XIII,[123] a team consisting of great South Sydney players over the years was selected by a panel of rugby league journalists and former Souths players and coaches. The team consists of 17 players (four being reserves) and a coach representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club from 1908 through to 2002.

No. Position Player
1   FB Clive Churchill (c)
2   WG Harold Horder
3   CE Ray Branighan
4   CE Paul Sait
5   WG Ian Moir
6   FE Alf Blair
7   HB Bob Grant
8   PR John Sattler
9   HK George Piggins
No. Position Player
10   PR John O'Neill
11   SR Jack Rayner
12   SR Bob McCarthy
13   LK Ron Coote
14   RE Terry Fahey
15   RE Ziggy Niszczot
16   RE Elwyn Walters
17   RE George Treweek
  CO Bernie Purcell (coach)

Season summariesEdit

Legend:   Premiers   Grand Finalist   Finals   Wooden spoon

NSWRL (1908–1994)Edit

Season Ladder position Result
1908 1st Premiers
1909 1st Premiers
1910 2nd Runner-up
1911 3rd Finalist
1912 4th did not qualify
1913 3rd did not qualify
1914 1st Premiers
1915 4th did not qualify
1916 2nd Runner-up
1917 2nd did not qualify
1918 1st Premiers
1919 6th did not qualify
1920 2nd did not qualify
1921 5th did not qualify
1922 4th did not qualify
1923 2nd Runner-up
1924 2nd Runner-up
1925 1st Premiers
1926 1st Premiers
1927 1st Premiers
1928 3rd Premiers
1929 1st Premiers
1930 3rd Semi-finalists
1931 2nd Premiers
1932 1st Premiers
1933 3rd Semi-finalists
1934 4th Semi-finalists
1935 2nd Runner-up
1936 7th did not qualify
1937 2nd did not qualify
1938 2nd Semi-finalists
1939 4th Runner-up
1940 6th did not qualify
1941 7th did not qualify
1942 5th did not qualify
1943 5th did not qualify
1944 4th Semi-finalists
1945 8th Wooden spoon
1946 8th Wooden spoon
1947 7th did not qualify
1948 7th did not qualify
1949 1st Runner-up
1950 1st Premiers
1951 1st Premiers
1952 3rd Runner-up
1953 1st Premiers
1954 2nd Premiers
1955 4th Premiers
1956 3rd Preliminary Finalists
1957 3rd Preliminary Finalists
1958 8th did not qualify
1959 6th did not qualify
1960 8th did not qualify
1961 7th did not qualify
1962 10th Wooden spoon
1963 9th did not qualify
1964 5th did not qualify
1965 4th Runner-up
1966 6th did not qualify
1967 2nd Premiers
1968 1st Premiers
1969 1st Runner-up
1970 1st Premiers
1971 2nd Premiers
1972 4th Semi-finalists
1973 7th did not qualify
1974 5th Qualifying Finalists
1975 12th Wooden spoon
1976 10th did not qualify
1977 11th did not qualify
1978 7th did not qualify
1979 9th did not qualify
1980 5th Qualifying Finalists
1981 9th did not qualify
1982 6th did not qualify
1983 8th did not qualify
1984 5th Semi-finalists
1985 9th did not qualify
1986 2nd Semi-finalists
1987 5th Semi-finalists
1988 8th did not qualify
1989 1st Preliminary Finalists
1990 16th Wooden spoon
1991 14th did not qualify
1992 14th did not qualify
1993 14th did not qualify
1994 9th did not qualify

ARL (1995–1997)Edit

Season Ladder position Result Coach Captain Most points Most tries
1995 18th did not qualify Ken Shine Craig Field, Lee Jackson Willett (70) Wilson (6)
1996 19th Ken Shine Craig Salvatori, Craig Field Field (72) Mellor (9)
1997 11th Ken Shine Darren Trindall O'Neill (42) McLeod, Penna, Trindall (6)

NRL (1998–present)Edit

Season Ladder position Result Coach Captain Most points Most tries
1998 18th did not qualify Steve Martin, Craig Coleman Tim Brasher O'Neill (102) Brasher (9)
1999 12th Craig Coleman Sean Garlick O'Neill (94) Wing (11)
2000 Excluded from competition
2002 14th did not qualify Craig Coleman Adam Muir McLean (72) Grose (9)
2003 15th Wooden spoon Paul Langmack Bryan Fletcher Smith (130) Merritt (10)
2004 15th Paul Langmack, Arthur Kitinas Bryan Fletcher Williams (98) Harrison, Hookey (10)
2005 13th did not qualify Shaun McRae Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack Walker (63) MacDougall (11)
2006 15th Wooden spoon Shaun McRae Peter Cusack Merritt (114) Merritt (22)
2007 7th Semi finalist Jason Taylor Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell Williams (88) Merritt (10)
2008 14th did not qualify Jason Taylor Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell Luke (108) Merritt (13)
2009 10th Jason Taylor Roy Asotasi Sandow (133) Merritt (19)
2010 9th John Lang Roy Asotasi Luke (128) Merritt (16)
2011 10th John Lang Roy Asotasi Sandow (195) Merritt (23)
2012 3rd Preliminary finalist Michael Maguire Michael Crocker, Roy Asotasi, John Sutton Reynolds (208) Everingham (19)
2013 2nd Michael Maguire John Sutton Reynolds (218) Merritt (16)
2014 3rd Premiers Michael Maguire John Sutton Reynolds (221) Johnston (25)
2015 7th Elimination finalist Michael Maguire Greg Inglis Reynolds (111) Johnston (17)
2016 12th did not qualify Michael Maguire Greg Inglis Reynolds (95) Johnston (11)
2017 12th Michael Maguire Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess Reynolds (144) Johnston (22)
2018 3rd Preliminary finalist Anthony Seibold Sam Burgess Reynolds (211) Jennings (20)
2019 3rd Wayne Bennett Reynolds (207) Walker (17)
2020 6th Wayne Bennett Adam Reynolds Reynolds (221) Johnston (26)
2021 3rd Runners up Wayne Bennett Adam Reynolds Reynolds (260) Johnston (33)
2022 7th Preliminary finalist Jason Demetriou Cameron Murray Mitchell (150) Johnston (30)
2023 Jason Demetriou Cameron Murray

Club honoursEdit

Competition Level Wins Years won
National Rugby League First Grade 21 1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014
NSW Cup Reserve Grade 20 1913, 1914, 1917, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1945, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1966, 1968, 1983
Jersey Flegg Cup Under 21s 9 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1978, 2019
Presidents Cup Third Grade 10 1912, 1918, 1925, 1928, 1933, 1962, 1969, 1981, 1986, 1989
S. G. Ball Cup Under 18s 10 1965, 1969, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1994, 1998
Harold Matthews Cup Under 16s 1 1974
NSWRL Women's Premiership Women's 2 1996, 1997
Other titles and honours
Competition Level Wins Years won
Charity Shield Pre season 23 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
World Club Challenge Pre season 1 2015
NRL Nines (2014–present) Pre season 1 2015
Finishing positions
Competition Level Wins Years won
National Rugby League Minor premiership

(J.J.Giltinan Shield)

17 1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989
Grand Finalist 14 1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969, 2021
Wooden spoons 8 1945, 1946, 1962, 1975, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2006

Individual awardsEdit

Club awardsEdit

The George Piggins Medal is the award given to the Rabbitohs player determined to have been the "best and fairest" throughout an NRL season. The inaugural winner of the award in 2003 was Bryan Fletcher. In 2013, John Sutton and Greg Inglis became the first joint winners of the award.[124][125]

First gradeEdit

Year George Piggins Medal Jack Rayner Players' Player Award Bob McCarthy Clubman of the Year Award John Sattler Rookie of the Year Award Roy Asotasi Members' Choice Award The Burrow Appreciation Award
2003 Bryan Fletcher Luke Stuart Jason Death Mark Minichiello Justin Smith
2004 Ashley Harrison Ashley Harrison Ashley Harrison Joe Williams Mark Minichiello
2005 Peter Cusack Peter Cusack Luke Stuart Manase Manuokafoa and Yileen Gordon John Sutton
2006 David Fa'alogo Nathan Merritt Peter Cusack Germaine Paulson Nathan Merritt
2007 Roy Asotasi Roy Asotasi Luke Stuart Issac Luke Roy Asotasi Paul Mellor
2008 Luke Stuart Luke Stuart and Nathan Merritt Beau Champion Chris Sandow Luke Stuart Luke Stuart
2009 John Sutton Luke Stuart Scott Geddes David Tyrrell Nathan Merritt Nathan Merritt
2010 Issac Luke Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Dylan Farrell Issac Luke Chris Sandow
2011 Nathan Merritt Chris Sandow Michael Crocker Nathan Peats Michael Crocker Michael Crocker
2012 John Sutton Greg Inglis Sam Burgess and Michael Crocker Adam Reynolds Adam Reynolds Adam Reynolds
2013 John Sutton and Greg Inglis Sam Burgess Matt King Dylan Walker Issac Luke Issac Luke
2014 Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Alex Johnston Sam Burgess Sam Burgess
2015 Greg Inglis Greg Inglis Ben Lowe Chris Grevsmuhl Bryson Goodwin Jason Clark
2016 Sam Burgess Sam Burgess Jason Clark Cody Walker Cody Walker Kyle Turner
2017 Sam Burgess Angus Crichton Damien Cook Cameron Murray Angus Crichton Angus Crichton
2018 Damien Cook Sam Burgess John Sutton Adam Doueihi Damien Cook Damien Cook
2019 Damien Cook Cameron Murray Braidon Burns Corey Allan Damien Cook John Sutton
2020 Cody Walker Cody Walker Damien Cook Keaon Koloamatangi Adam Reynolds Thomas Burgess
2021 Cody Walker Cody Walker Mark Nicholls Blake Taaffe Cameron Murray Cody Walker
2022 Junior Tatola Campbell Graham Jacob Host Lachlan Ilias Cameron Murray Alex Johnston

Other gradesEdit

Year Reserve Grade Best and Fairest Reserve Grade Players' Player U20 Player of the Year U20 Players Player Women's Player of the Year Women's Players' Player
2008 Trent Totter Jason Clark
2009 Jason Clark Jason Clark
2010 Matt Mundine Malcolm Webster
2011 Kyle Turner Adrian Ha’angana
2012 Luke Keary Jesse Roberts
2013 Cameron McInnes Cameron McInnes
2014 Cheyne Whitelaw Jack Gosiewski
2015 Clayton Williams Clayton Williams
2016 Maia Sands Maia Sands
2017 Gabe Hamlin Campbell Graham
2018 Maddie Studdon Chloe Caldwell & Taleena Simon
2019 Billy Brittain Billy Brittain Blake Taaffe Ky Rodwell Karri Doyle Kyla Gordon
2020 Ellie Johnston Janaya Bent
2021 Dean Hawkins Trent Peoples Ben Lovett Tallis Aniganga Seli Mailangi Katie Brown
2022 Shaquai Mitchell Dean Hawkins Tallis Duncan Tallis Duncan Seli Mailangi Ellie Johnston

Clive Churchill MedalEdit

The Clive Churchill medal is awarded annually to the player adjudged best on ground in the grand final.

* Retrospective medals

Dally M MedalEdit

The Dally M Medal is awarded annually to the player of the year over the course of the NRL regular season.

Dally M Rookie of the YearEdit

Dally M Coach of the YearEdit

Dally M Team of the YearEdit

NRL ImmortalsEdit

NRL Hall of Fame inducteesEdit

The NRL Hall of Fame recognises the contribution to rugby league in Australia since 1908.

Other distinctionsEdit

Statistics and recordsEdit

South Sydney are the most successful club in terms of honours and individual player achievements in the history of NSW rugby league.

The club achievements include:

  • The Rabbitohs have won the most first grade premierships (21) during the history of elite rugby league competition in Australia,[126] in addition to the most reserve grade[note 6] premierships (20).
  • The club has the distinction of being the only team to win a premiership in their inaugural season (1908).
  • The club also has the distinction of scoring the most points (42), most tries (8) and most goals (9) in a grand final, all achieved against Manly in 1951.[8]
  • South Sydney's 1925 first grade side is one of six New South Wales sides to ever go through a season undefeated.[6] The club won the premiership in all three grades in 1925, a feat only repeated on three other occasions (Balmain Tigers in 1915 and 1916 and St George Dragons in 1963).
  • In 2008, the Rabbitohs equalled the second biggest comeback in Australian Rugby League history. After being down 28–4 after 53 minutes against the North Queensland Cowboys, the Rabbitohs won the match 29–28.

The club's players have also achieved some notable individual game and point scoring milestones:

  • John Sutton holds the record for the most first grade games for the club, having played 336 matches between 2004 and 2019.
  • Jack Rayner holds the individual record of the most grand final successes as a captain (5) and coach (5) achieved between 1950 and 1955.
  • Adam Reynolds holds the club record for the most points, tallying 1896 points between 2012 and 2021.[127]
  • Eric Simms scored 265 points on his own for South Sydney in 1969 and this tally remains unsurpassed by any other player at the club.[127]
  • Eric Simms still holds a club and competition record for the most goals (112 goals and 19 field goals) in a season, most career field goals (86) and most field goals in a game (5).
  • Johnny Graves' tally of 29 points in a match against Eastern Suburbs in 1952[127] remains the club record for the most individual points in a match. Had this feat been scored as it is today it would have stood at 32 points.
  • Alex Johnston is the only player to score 30 tries in a single season in the NRL era. He achieved the feat in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, the only player in Australian rugby league history to complete the feat twice.
  • During his career Bob McCarthy scored 100 tries for the club, the most by a forward.[127]
  • Alex Johnston equalled the South Sydney club record of 5 tries in a 2017 match against Penrith at ANZ Stadium in a 42–14 win, joining greats such as Nathan Merritt, Harold Horder, Johnny Graves and Ian Moir. Johnston went on to score another 5 tries against the Sydney Roosters in a 60–8 win in the final round of the 2020 season.
  • Alex Johnston passed Nathan Merritt's all-time try scoring record in Souths win 44–18 against Wests Tigers in round 12 of the 2022 season, with 166 tries as of the end of the 2022 season.

Head-to-head recordsEdit

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
  Dolphins 1 1 0 0 100.00
  Titans 23 15 0 6 71.43
  Tigers 41 24 0 17 58.54
  Eels 134 75 3 56 55.97
  Cowboys 39 21 1 17 53.85
  Dragons 38 20 0 18 52.63
  Roosters 230 120 5 105 52.17
  Warriors 39 20 0 19 51.28
  Panthers 94 48 1 45 51.06
  Sea Eagles 149 72 0 77 48.32
  Bulldogs 167 80 4 83 47.90
  Sharks 93 43 3 47 46.24
  Knights 46 19 0 27 41.30
  Raiders 59 24 0 35 40.68
  Broncos 47 15 1 31 31.91
  Storm 39 7 0 32 17.95

Discontinued teamsEdit

Win–loss rates against all discontinued teams
Teams Played Wins Draws Losses Points (tries–goals–field goals) Average Points for Against Points (Tries–Goals–Field Goals) Average Points against Win%
Cumberland 1 1 0 0 23 (5–4–0) 23.00 2 (0–1–0) 2.00 100.00%
Northern Eagles 1 1 0 0 44 (8–6–0) 44.00 20 (4–2–0) 20.00 100.00%
University 31 30 1 0 857 (199–130–0) 27.65 270 (54–54–0) 8.71 98.38%
Annandale 21 19 1 1 356 (82–54–1) 16.95 135 (27–27–0) 6.43 92.85%
Newcastle08–09 5 4 0 1 86 (24–7–0) 17.20 28 (6–4–1) 5.60 80.00%
South Queensland 4 3 0 1 112 (20–16–0) 23.82 312 (56–42–4) 18.35 64.70%
Glebe 42 27 0 15 615 (135–97–8) 14.64 350 (66–74–2) 8.33 64.28%
Norths 175 104 6 65 3080 (616–569–13) 17.60 2577 (469–525–8) 14.73 61.14%
Newtown 153 90 7 56 2510 (501–490–15) 16.41 2084 (384–453–11) 13.62 61.11%
Wests 182 106 5 71 3018 (586–573–18) 16.58 2620 (485–532–12) 14.40 59.61%
Balmain Tigers 178 95 3 80 2707 (523–519–19) 15.21 2649 (496–529–6) 14.88 54.21%
Gold Coast 18 9 1 8 318 (56–46–2) 17.67 342 (60–50–2) 19.00 52.77%
Perth 2 1 0 1 38 (6–7–0) 19.00 36 (6–6–0) 18.00 50.00%
St George 163 69 2 92 2364 (434–483–19) 14.50 2857 (535–563–15) 17.53 42.94%
Illawarra 31 12 2 17 523 (88–85–5) 16.87 625 (107–99–4) 20.16 41.93%
Adelaide 1 0 0 1 18 (3–0–0) 18.00 34 (7–3–0) 34.00 0.00%

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In Australia, a foundation club is one that played in the first season of competition. South Sydney played in the first season of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, some call it the predecessor to the National Rugby League competition.
  2. ^ Reference to Jack Gibson as a "Super Coach" is common terminology in Australian rugby league circles given Gibson's outstanding coaching record – see: "Super coach Gibson salutes his favourite players". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  3. ^ The St George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers merged into the St George Illawarra Dragons in 1998, the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies merged to form the Wests Tigers in 1999 whilst also in the same year the Manly Sea Eagles and North Sydney Bears (who were excluded from the competition on failing to meet solvency criteria) merged into the Northern Eagles (the merger was subsequently dissolved with Manly re-entering the competition in 2003).
  4. ^ Balmain players feigned injury in order to slow down the game, disrupt Souths attacking momentum and run-down the clock to full-time.[117]
  5. ^ Key Souths players purchased by Manly included internationals John O'Neill, Ray Branighan, Elwyn Walters, Mark Carroll, Terry Hill, Jim Serdaris and Ian Roberts and other stars such as Bob Moses, Tom Mooney and Craig Field.
  6. ^ Up until 2002, the second division of rugby league in New South Wales was Reserve Grade/Presidents Cup/First Division Premiers; since then, it has been the NSWRL Premier League.



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  5. ^ a b "The Balmainiacs of 1909" by Sean Fagan. Archived 13 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Season 1925 Archived 17 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine from the Rugby League Tables & Statistics website Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b In 1925 rugby league journalist Claude Corbett nicknamed the club the "Pride of the League" – see page 3 of Ian Heads' book South Sydney, Pride of the League, Lothian, 2000. On the internet Souths are referred to as the Pride of the League on the Sydney Olympic Park website: Sydney Olym hipic Park. Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Reference is also made in the official history of the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club by Tom Brock titled South Sydney, Pride of the League, published in 1994. This is mentioned in Mr Brocks' biography: Tom Brock Biography Archived 15 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine at the Australian Society for Sports History website. "South Sydney Rabbitohs". Sydney Olympic Park Authority. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
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External linksEdit