It doesn’t take long to see why Cameron Murray has been chosen as the successor to captain Adam Reynolds in South Sydney.
If you were to create a prototype ‘club captain’ in a lab, you’d end up with something akin to Murray, which ticks all the boxes for Souths fans.
Local Junior? To verify. Representative player? To verify. Well said? To verify. Will be there for a while? Check – he signed a contract extension until the end of 2025.
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Speaking to fellow Rabbitohs members, it’s easy to see why the 24-year-old was a slam dunk contender.
“He’s been great – he’s not a big talker, but he lets his actions do the talking. He’s too tired to talk anyway because he’s doing so much work,” Cody Walker told Wide World of Sports about its new skipper.
“Everyone in the leadership group last year had different strengths and threw things back at each other, so that’s not going to change too much.”
Much of the verbal duties will be left to senior players like Walker and Damien Cook, who Murray says push him as much as he pushes them.
“Players like that are exceptional athletes and people on and off the pitch,” Murray told Wide World of Sports.
“I see the hard work they put in and the talent they showcase and that pushes me to be a better player and a better version of myself because you never want to let your teammates down.”
Few people work harder than Murray himself – and no one knows that better than his former Mascot Jets teammate Keaon Koloamatangi.
“He was always a leader,” Koloamatangi told Wide World of Sports.
“He doesn’t talk much but his actions on the pitch are second to none – everyone wants to follow him and no one wants to let him down.”
Murray is still recovering from shoulder reconstruction, which he underwent a week after the grand final, and will not feature in this weekend’s Charity Shield.
“It’s hard to comment when I haven’t captained a game yet, but I’m sure I’ll start to realize what that means and what it will take over the next few months,” he said. he declares.
“It was a really big process, but I had really good rehab staff here and physios who helped me through it, and I certainly wouldn’t be in the nickname that I am now without them.”
Murray was one of the Souths’ best in last year’s grand final, where they came agonizingly close to a 22nd premiership.
But we don’t have time to dwell on that. You often see teams that lose the Grand Final take a step back the following year – but the mood around Redfern seems as ominous as the storm clouds hanging over Redfern Oval this afternoon.
“At the start of pre-season we really delved into the things we need to improve, but a lot of the focus was on what went well last year,” he said.
Murray is already asking the captain to go all the way, even dropping a ‘home workout’ during the interview.
But the sincerity with which Murray approaches the game is clear – and despite his obvious talent, his work-rate is what sets him apart – even saying there was room for improvement from what was a brilliant 2021 campaign.
“I love the game, I love what I do. You can never be comfortable with where you are because as soon as you do, that’s when you start slipping,” a- he declared.
“The harder everyone around you works, the harder you want to work. And that sums up this club and the caliber of players here.”
Murray’s first game as captain will likely be in the first round, against former mate and former skipper Reynolds – who remains on good terms with his former club.
It’s a great first test for the Bunnies who lost not only their halfback, but also coach Wayne Bennett and Origin center Dane Gagai, among others.
While he is not looking too far ahead, has Murray allowed himself to dream of speaking this first Sunday in October and lifting the Provan-Summons trophy?
“Of course,” he laughs.
“Every year you miss is a year you hungrier.”
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