New Rabbitohs signing Jack Wighton could be considering a backflip on his representative retirement with the former Blues centre reportedly considering putting his hand up return for a return to the State of Origin arena. Wighton opted to leave the Canberra Raiders for the first time in his career to sign a huge contract with the Rabbitohs.
Ahead of the decision, Wighton made former Blues coach Brad Fittler aware he wouldn't be available for New South Wales selection. However, The Daily Telegraph reports those around Wighton believe the centre could be considering backflipping and making himself available for his 11th Blues appearance.
The move could be a relief to new Blues coach Michael Maguire as he looks to build his squad to try and break the Maroons' two-year reign in the Origin arena. Billy Slater is set to lead the Maroons into his third series and will be looking to create history.
If Wighton is to make himself available, the Rabbitohs could be looking at a host of players missing club footy during the period with Cameron Murray, Latrell Mitchell, Damien Cook, Campbell Graham and Cody Walker all in contention to be selected again.
The Wighton development comes as Maguire is set to meet with up to 40 potential Blues players for the 2024 series as he looks to stamp his own mark on the squad. Players like captain James Tedesco are no certainty to be selected for the news series with Maguire given the task of reigniting the Blues squad.
Regardless, Wighton is a huge signing for the Rabbitohs and his link-up play with friend Mitchell could be vital in propelling South Sydney back into the top eight. And while there has been plenty of speculation over where Wighton will play for the Sydney club, the 30-year-old has confirmed he will be playing in the centres.
Jack Wighton confirms role at the Rabbitohs
Many around the NRL world have called for Wighton to replace Mitchell at fullback and shift the Bunnies' No.1 into the centres, where he has starred for NSW at State of Origin level. In an interview with foxsports.com.au though, Wighton revealed he had been playing at left centre with his new teammates during Rabbitohs pre-season training and is looking forward to combining with Mitchell and co. in a deadly South Sydney backline.
“I guess just trying to master the craft, just bring energy to the team and the little things I can do,” Wighton answered in response to a question about his role for 2024. “And I get to play outside Cody and Latrell (Mitchell) so I’m excited about that.
“Starting our sets and finishing our sets... Bringing the ball out of our own end and helping our boys get that roll-on that our middles and players like Latrell, Cody and ‘Cooky’ (Damien Cook) need. Then also finishing our sets, being the first one down there, trying to change the tide in defence too."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.