Burgess return special to Grevsmuhl
2014 will go down as one of the most memorable seasons in South Sydney Rabbitohs history. For Chris Grevsmuhl, despite not featuring in a single NRL game that year, it was a campaign that's set him up to be the player he is today.
Grevsmuhl admits a big reason for that came down to the guidance of Rabbitohs cult hero Sam Burgess, who mentored the 22-year-old through a year spent playing for North Sydney in NSW Cup.
When Burgess announced his return to the club in November, Grevsmuhl was buoyed to finally tick a box he thought he'd never be able to do – throw on Souths cardinal and myrtle jumper alongside the Englishman.
This coming from a kid who just three years ago suffered a knee injury so severe it threatened to end his career before it had even started.
"Sammy is one of my favourite players on and off the field. He's a gentleman off it and on the field he's just a machine and I'm looking forward to pulling that jersey on with him," Grevsmuhl said, who confirmed 2016 would be his final season with the club.
"It's going to be something special for me because he pretty much guided me to get where I am right now with his insights to football and how to approach NRL life.
"It was great news for me when he signed to come back, even my mum loves him. He's a special person in my books. He's helped me a long way and even if he doesn't know it, he's been there for me."
12 months ago Grevsmuhl underwent one of the more celebrated pre-seasons ever for a player yet to feature in the NRL.
Taking part in South Sydney's Charity Shield, Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge victories in 2015, Grevsmuhl also played for the Indigenous All Stars all before making his debut in Round 1 last year.
Fast forward to now – two weeks out from season start – Grevsmuhl rubbished concerns over the dreaded second year syndrome and said his focus remained on being right for Round 1.
Failing to play in any of South Sydney's pre-season trials as he deals with a slight knee complaint, Grevsmuhl is racing the clock to be fit.
"I can't wait to get out there and have a run around. It's been a few weeks since I've been able to run but I'm biting at the bit," Grevsmuhl said.
"I haven't played any trials yet, it's been a bit annoying but in the long run it'll be good for me knowing that I've done everything right at the start of the year.
"I'd love to be in there for Round 1 but it's up to 'Madge' (coach Michael Maguire) and whatever he goes with I'm sure is the right thing for the boys."
Of his settled pre-season all things considered, Grevsmuhl was pleased to not have to travel and remain in Redfern.
"It was very full on last year and we had to do some kilometres all around the world pretty much," he said. "It was good to just stay back in Sydney and do what we do."