King of the bunnies

NRL player and former Kangaroo Matt King watches local junior rugby league players taking part in the second annaul Matt King Shield at Casino on Friday. Photo Doug Eaton / Richmond River Express Examiner
NRL player and former Kangaroo Matt King watches local junior rugby league players taking part in the second annaul Matt King Shield at Casino on Friday. Photo Doug Eaton / Richmond River Express Examiner Doug Eaton

CASINO product Matt King should have plenty to look forward to in 2013 as he prepares for his second season with South Sydney in the National Rugby League.

The Casino Cougars junior and premiership-winning Marist Brothers first-grader was co-captain at the Rabbitohs last year in a team that fell one game short of the grand final.

South Sydney look the goods again on paper and King should play either centre or wing if he remains injury-free.

He returned to the NRL last year after a lucrative four-year stint with the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League.

King played in NRL grand finals for the Melbourne Storm in 2006 and 2007.

They were heavy favourites against Brisbane in 2006 when they went down 15-8.

In 2007 the Storm beat Manly 34-8 but in 2010 were stripped of the premiership due to salary cap breaches.

King is running out of time to win a grand final in the NRL - he is contracted with the Rabbitohs until at least the end of 2014 when he will turn 34.

Ballina junior Mitch Aubusson and Lismore-born Martin Kennedy should have interesting years at the Roosters.

The arrival of star centre Michael Jennings means Aubusson is likely to spend most of his time in the second row.

Aubusson and Kennedy will be in a forward pack bolstered by the NRL return of the enigmatic Sonny Bill Williams, who began training with the club this week.

If Kennedy remains injury-free he could earn a State of Origin call-up following the retirement of long-time Mar-oons front-rower Petero Civoniceva.

Yamba product Luke Doug-las is also chasing an Origin jumper in the Blues side this year.

Douglas has played 170 consecutive NRL games and should be more comfortable at the Titans after his first season at the club in 2012 following a six-year stint with the Cronulla Sharks.

Lismore-raised David Mead is gearing up for another year on the wing at the Titans but has expressed interest in moving to centre or fullback.

The former Kadina High School and Trinity Catholic College student signed a contract extension last December and will be at the club until at least the end of 2016.

Ballina junior Tyrone Roberts is in his third year at the Newcastle Knights and will only keep improving with some of the new players the Knights have brought in.

Murwillumbah-born Cheyse Blair proved his worth in a struggling Parramatta Eels side that finished last in 2012.

The winger played 22 games and could get more time in his preferred position at centre with starting centres Willie Tonga and Jacob Loko both injury-prone last year.

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