Luke Keary’s premiership-winning South Sydney teammates say they are sad to see him exit Redfern.
Keary has told fellow Rabbitohs players that he won’t be with the club for the 2017 NRL season, with arch-rivals Sydney Roosters his reported destination.
Prop Tom Burgess, who claimed the 2014 NRL title alongside Keary, said he was disappointed to see the 24-year-old playmaker depart Souths.
“He has said he is leaving the club at the end of the year, but he is still undecided on where he is going I think and he will make his announcement on where he is going in due time,” Burgess said at training at Redfern Oval on Tuesday.
“This is his last year now so we just have to make the most of the time we have together. He is a great teammate.”
Alex Johnston was also a part of the Rabbitohs 2014 premiership-winning side with Keary in a season when he announced himself as a playmaker of note.
“It is sad to see him go but we get to play the rest of the year with him and I am looking forward to doing that,” Johnston said.
Keary was said to be out of favour at Redfern after an off-season verbal stoush with owner Russell Crowe, amid further reports his relationship with coach Michael Maguire is strained.
He looked on borrowed time at Souths, when he was benched last month to make way for Greg Inglis’ move to five-eighth.
And the club didn’t appear it would have the money, or inclination, to keep Keary after re-signing fellow playmaker Cody Walker on a three-year deal last month.
Keary had been linked to a move to St George Illawarra and Melbourne, but reports emerged on Monday he had signed a two-year deal with the Roosters beginning in 2017.
According to NRL rules, all signed contracts have a 10-day cooling off period, so confirmation of Keary’s probably move won’t come until next month.