THE Rabbitohs have confirmed one of the NRL’s worst-kept secrets – Luke Keary will move on at the end of this season and join the Roosters on a two-year deal.
The 24-year-old has played 58 first-grade games for South Sydney, after rising through the under-20 ranks to make his senior debut in 2013.
There has been much speculation regarding tension between Keary and certain officials at Souths.
The young playmaker walked out of a pre-season bonding session after being berated by Hollywood star and club owner Russell Crowe.
There is also no doubt Keary is after more game time at the Roosters, with Souths coach Michael Maguire regularly using him off the bench this season.
The Roosters have been looking for an established pivot since losing Blues representative James Maloney to the Sharks this year.
While the Dragons lost out to the Tricolours in the tug-of-war for Keary’s signature, they have reportedly reached out to young Roosters playmaker Jackson Hastings.
Meanwhile, a tiny ray of light might be starting to emerge at last-placed Newcastle.
It’s been a terrible season for the rebuilding club with just one win and a horror points differential of minus 329 so far in 2016.
But coach Nathan Brown is looking forward to the return of up to four players against the Dragons at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Chanel and Peter Mata’utia (both knee), Nathan Ross and Robbie Rochow (arm) are all strong chances of making returns from stints on the sidelines.
Rochow has been out since round six and will provide more than 70 games of NRL experience to a youthful forward pack that has struggled this year.
“Bringing them back at separate stages would probably be the ideal scenario,” Brown said.
“But with Gags (Dane Gagai) playing Origin and Jake Mamo having picked up a minor (ankle) injury, it’s likely they’ll have to come in straight away.”