NRL WA Premiership Preview 2024 – South Perth Lions

By Peter Rowe

Part four of our NRLWA fuel to Go and Play Premiership previews the fortunes of foundation club South Perth as PETER ROWE looks at a Lions squad under new leadership.

Like Joondalup, it’s a new year and a new coach – but an old face – at South Perth for the 2024 season.

Tradition is a big word at George Burnett Park, taken very seriously by the men in red and white.

So it was no surprise when the club turned to one of their own to take the reins.

Marty Collis, a South Perth junior and captain of a number of premiership teams has taken over from Daniel Green for the season ahead with a fresh pair of eyes and some ideas team manager Paul Brown believes will bring success.

“He’s a legend at the club and everyone’s fully behind him,” Brown said this week.

“We’ve come close in the past few seasons but we haven’t just made it, so we need to improve, be better in defence and be more consistent,” Brown said.

“Let year we blew hot and cold. Some games were very good and in others we were poor – we know we need to change that.”

The Lions have lost second rower Ben Wells-Talamaivao and his brother Luke David for the new campaign. The former to Fremantle and the latter to Queensland. And with fellow back rower Jayden Hocking also possibly missing, their pack will have a new look to it this season.

“And (forward) Mason Hiko is still recovering from knee surgery so we won’t see him for a few weeks as well, “ Brown confirmed.

“But we’ve got a good crop of youngsters in that under-19 age group and a couple more from union so there’s plenty of potential to work with.”

Eddie Proudler and Harry DeBique both return to form a major part of their spine – both players capable of breaking down any defence in this competition.

Daniel Green still hopes to play and is another club legend Brown knows will ‘die’ for the cause.

Jarrad Smith also returns, described by Brown as ‘massive club man’ , along with probable captain Ethan Gourgaud.

“All five players are massive for us,” Brown said, “and they will lead from the front.

“We know we have to improve on last term and training has been very positive, very positive.

“The players have bought into Marty’s ideas and we’ll be ready come round one.”