Rabbitohs ready for a big season
By CRAIG McTEAR
RUSSELL Crowe's rabbits are a contented bunch as they frolic in the lush pastures of the Orara Valley.
But these are no ordinary bunnies.
They're the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and they're here for a week enjoying the hospitality of their new owner.
Souths are staying at Crowe's Nana Glen compound, but the man himself isn't there to entertain them ? he's got a hectic filming schedule in New Mexico.
That hasn't stopped the stars revelling in their rural surrounds as they prepare for the 2007 National Rugby League competition.
It's no holiday, however.
The 33-strong senior squad is up at 6am every day for gym work, then breakfast, followed by a short trip to Coramba Sportsground where the coaching staff put them through their paces in skills and conditioning sessions.
Souths' football manager, Tony Henderson, says the boys are upbeat and excited as they head into the new season.
"We've got an influx of players and a new training regime," Henderson said.
"We want to perform consistently and improve."
Retired rugby league hard-man Gorden Tallis has been with the squad in Coffs Harbour, inspiring them to achieve great things in the year ahead.
To the disappointment of local footy fans, however, other commitments prevent Souths from taking part in the Orara Valley Sevens tournament on the Australia Day long weekend.