South Sydney’s latest exciting backline discovery Aaron Gray is in no hurry to hand his left wing spot back to the Rabbitohs newly minted Kangaroos representative Alex Johnston.
Gray, 21, has played four matches, bagging five tries in the last three, including doubles against St George Illawarra and Parramatta.
“It’s been a good introduction to my career,” Gray said.
“The big boys and the halves are laying the platform for us there and making my job on the wing a bit easier.”
Johnston, who made his Test debut against New Zealand last month, has played at either fullback or the right wing since Gray broke into the Souths team in late April.
“AJ says he wants his left wing spot back, but I said I’m going to try and keep it,” Gray said.
Gray, Johnston, fellow backs Adam Reynolds, John Sutton and Dylan Walker, and forwards Jason Clark and Cameron McInnes are other products of the Rabbitohs famed local nursery in this season’s senior squad.
“Me and Dylan (Walker) have been playing together since we were about seven or eight years old,” Gray said.
“We’re best mates, so it’s good to come up and play with him in the big time.”
Adding an interesting family dynamic to his football career is the fact his father works for Souths’ arch rivals, the Sydney Roosters.
“He always gets up me if we lose and they win, but whenever I’m playing he’s always cheering the Bunnies on,” Gray said.
Meanwhile, Rabbitohs stalwart Clark revealed he had worked on his defensive technique after being dropped for a couple of games.
Clark, who represented the NSW City Origin team last month, was recalled for Souths game against Parramatta last weekend, which marked his 100th first grade appearance.
An incident a couple of weeks before his demotion underlined the changes he needed to make.
Clark suffered concussion after copping a knee to the head from North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo.
“I was falling away from tackles and probably going at it too low and a bit around the legs and you’ve seen that with Jason Taumalolo’s knee in my face,” Clark said.
“As a junior you learn to go low and put your head to the side and that’s something I wasn’t doing, so I just had to fix that up.”
Clark attributed the Rabbitohs inconsistent form this year to concentration issues.
“There’s not a whole lot of things to put it down to, it’s just little things that we need to tinker with and get right,” Clark said.