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Jack Wighton is the NRL’s strolling paradox however can he save South Sydney’s ailing season?


If you wish to perceive Jack Wighton it is advisable perceive that two contradictory issues may be true on the similar time.

The legal guidelines of language dictate this can’t be so however rugby league is aware of higher than that. Forward of his South Sydney debut on Friday night time how else are you able to clarify Wighton, the game’s strolling paradox?

He is likely one of the largest stars within the NRL however spent most of his profession at Canberra, which is low key to a fault and takes a livid delight in succeeding with out stars.

He’s one in every of simply 5 gamers to win each a Dally M and a Clive Churchill Medal within the NRL period – the others are Andrew Johns, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk — and he is among the finest and most embellished gamers in Raiders historical past however the membership had an 11-2 document with out him within the workforce over the previous 5 years.

A Canberra Raiders NRL player runs with the ball in both hands.

Wighton spent greater than 10 years with the Raiders earlier than transferring to South Sydney. (Getty Photographs: Mark Nolan)

He’s a whole-hearted competitor who can let matches drift by him, he’s able to sensible shows of livid but managed athleticism, depth and management and of dropping his head so solely that he bites somebody in the exact same recreation.

Jack Wighton is elegant and ridiculous in each senses of the phrase, he’s inspiring and maddening, and he’s all of these items directly. He is a good participant, however not at all times a superb one. He’s simple to like however tougher to love.

However that was Wighton as a Raider. As a Rabbitoh, life guarantees to be far less complicated. Out within the centres he will likely be relieved of the burden of playmaking and may give attention to the bottom parts of his recreation – specifically, his athleticism on each side of the ball and his aggression as a defender.

He’ll do properly as a person at South Sydney, of that there appears little doubt. Wighton brings muscle and fireplace, which is simply what the sluggish Rabbitohs want after an 0-2 begin to the 12 months the place they’ve regarded fragile out broad.

Wighton is an efficient reply to an enormous downside and he would possibly give the entire workforce a little bit of a shot within the arm – the 31-year-old has at all times been a preferred teammate with a capability to guide by instance and his stature within the recreation means he can demand extra out of a few of South Sydney’s largest names.

However you can be forgiven for considering the Rabbitohs want greater than a shot within the arm. The knives are out for something cardinal and myrtle after a troublesome starting to the 12 months that feels linked to no matter enveloped the workforce as they crashed from high of the ladder to lacking the finals final season.

Latrell Mitchell is copping warmth for swearing in a radio interview. Lachlan Ilias has been dropped, a transfer that just about feels merciful given the struggles the halfback has endured just lately.

Coach Jason Demetriou is wearing shots from former players on podcasts and whispers about his future will proceed till outcomes enhance.


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