Rookie’s ‘Big Opportunity’

One of the biggest questions ahead of next season has been answered.

There’s several players hoping to land Adam Reynolds’ vacant No.7 jersey — and Rabbitohs assistant coach Ben Hornby has revealed there’s a frontrunner in the race.

Hornby has revealed young gun Lachlan Ilias will likely get the first opportunity to partner Cody Walker in the halves next season.

Also chasing the halfback role is Dean Hawkins, Blake Taaffe and new recruit Anthony Milford — however Milford’s contract won’t be registered until court proceedings relating to assault charges are complete.

“I think Lachie will probably get first crack with Deano,” Hornby told Rabbitohs Radio.

“I think Taaffe is more suited to the fullback type role, or maybe a running five-eighth role.

“But whoever comes into that role is going to be so lucky. We’ve got a lot of experience around those guys, Cody Walker, Latrell (Mitchell) at the back, Damien Cook, Cam Murray... they’re just not going to let these guys down. They’re going to make it as easy and as seamless as it can be.”

“He’s got a great opportunity in front of him now... he’s just a great kid, he works really hard, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone fitter.

“He’s got a great temperament to play in the halves as well, which I think is really important, so I’m looking forward to getting him out on the park and getting a few more reps into him.”

The 21-year-old made his NRL debut in the final round of the regular season this year and scored a try in the sixth minute.

It’s his only first grade game to date, but he’s impressed enough in the junior grade — and at training — to convince South Sydney’s coaching staff that he’s ready.