What does Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker’s extensions mean for South Sydney’s future?

Home Sports What does Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker’s extensions mean for South Sydney’s future?
What does Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker’s extensions mean for South Sydney’s future?

Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker have both re-signed with South Sydney, locking in the dynamic duo until at least the end of 2025.

Walker has signed a two-year extension with the club, while Latrell has extended for a further four seasons in a massive boost for the Bunnies. 

Damien Cook has also re-signed with Souths for two more years, keeping their elite-level spine in-tact moving forward and allowing the club’s premiership window to remain wide open. 

But as is so often the case, retaining a group of big-name players can lead to plenty of headaches for the Rabbitohs down the line in regards to their salary cap and their ability to recruit or retain other stars. 

Here’s what the latest extensions mean for other South Sydney players.

Blake Taaffe 

The biggest casualty from the Walker/Latrell extensions is young gun Blake Taaffe.

The 23-year-old filled in at fullback during the side’s 2021 run to the grand final, but struggled for game time during the following season and is off-contract at the end of 2023.

Taaffe is capable of playing at both fullback and five-eighth, and given those are the two positions South Sydney have just locked in big-name stars in, his future appears extremely clouded.

If there was any player from the Bunnies that could look for a new home after this news, it would be Taaffe. 

VERDICT: Likely exit at end of 2023

Peter Mamouzelos

Touted as one of the club’s brightest prospects, the next two years could be pretty tough for Peter Mamouzelos if he remains in the cardinal and myrtle. 

The 21-year-old is signed until the end of 2024, but in that time he is unlikely to see much NRL action due to Cook’s new deal. 

And with Walker, Latrell, Cook and captain Cameron Murray all on big contracts, there is a realistic chance that the Bunnies won’t stand in Mamouzelos’ way if another club offered him a starting spot, which could help ease some of their cap pressure. 

Rugby league is a tough business and Mamouzelos is likely going to learn that the hard way. 

VERDICT: Early exit 

Siliva Havili

One of the real surprise packets for the Rabbitohs during their 2022 season was utility forward Siliva Havili.

The crafty journeyman played an important role off the bench, filling in at both lock and hooker, but is without a deal for 2024 and beyond.

Havili likely won’t be seeking big money and could remain at the club, but his chances of a starting role are basically zero with Cook and Murray around. 

VERDICT: One-year extension for 2024

Jai Arrow

As one of the club’s highest-paid players, Jai Arrow is in line for a sizeable pay-cut when negotiations begin for a new deal in 12 months time.

The QLD Origin forward has been a solid performer for the Rabbitohs, but it could be argued that the club paid overs with their $800,000 per-year long-term deal.

Extensions for Latrell and Walker will likely put a strain on South Sydney’s salary cap and Arrow could be forced to either look elsewhere or take less money to remain at Redfern in 2025. 

VERDICT: Pay-cut or move clubs

Keaon Koloamatangi

Emerging as one of the game’s elite second-rowers in recent years, Keaon Koloamatangi has another two years to run on his current contract with the Rabbitohs.

But after that, the 24-year-old is undoubtedly in line for a huge upgrade and could attract plenty of interest from rival NRL clubs given his age, size, maturity and skillset.

As it stands, South Sydney are unlikely to be able to hold onto both Koloamatangi and Arrow past the 2024 season – which means one of them is going to be squeezed out due to cap pressure. 

VERDICT: Contract upgrade or move clubs

Tom Burgess

The most experienced player in the Rabbitohs squad in terms of tenure, Tom Burgess is off-contract and could move on from the Bunnies at the end of next year.

At 30 years of age, Burgess is unlikely to be a priority signing for the club, with the likes of Koloamatangi and Tevita Tatola likely seeking upgrades to their current deals.

It would be tough to see the Englishman in another NRL club’s colours, but the salary cap pressure from the extensions handed to Cook, Walker and Latrell could make it tough. 

Burgess will likely have to take a pay-cut or sign a short-term deal if he wants to remain a one-club player. 

VERDICT: One-year contract extension 

South Sydney Rabbitohs 2023 off-contract list

  • Blake Taaffe
  • Dean Hawkins
  • Hame Sele
  • Jacob Host
  • Jed Cartwright
  • Liam Knight
  • Michael Chee Kam
  • Siliva Havili
  • Terrell Kalo Kalo
  • Tom Burgess

South Sydney Rabbitohs 2024 off-contract list

  • Jai Arrow
  • Campbell Graham 
  • Keaon Koloamatangi
  • Isaiah Tass
  • Izaac Thompson
  • Ben Lovett
  • Josiah Karapani
  • Leon Te Hau
  • Peter Mamouzelos
  • Shaq Mitchell
  • Taane Milne
  • Tevita Tatola

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