Rabbitohs fullback Alex Johnston in the club's 2016 Indigenous jersey.

Johnston wants Rabbitohs' No.1 long-term

Alex Johnston wants the Rabbitohs' No.1 jumper for the rest of the season at the very least and he has the very man he replaced backing him all the way.

Johnston – after a two-month absence – made his return at fullback for South Sydney in their last-start win over the Eels with usual custodian Greg Inglis shifting to five-eighth.

Inglis, who earlier in the week expressed his comfort in the halves, was rather impressed with the 21-year-old's return but wasn't sure what the future holds for either man. 

"He played well. I've always said he had the talent to do it and he's a future fullback for sure," Inglis said.

"He has ball-playing skills and great footwork, his talk around the line and everything that you want in a fullback is all there. We'll see how we go moving forward but as for now I'll stay in six and he'll stay at one."

 


Since Johnston's debut on Anzac Day weekend two years ago Inglis has been a constant source of knowledge for the new No.1 – who despite coming through the grades as a fullback has only featured there six times in the NRL. 

"It was actually pretty tough going back there first game back. There was a lot more running than there is on the wing so I definitely felt it a bit but I loved every minute of it," Johnston said.

"I love playing fullback. I came up through the grades playing it so I've always wanted to do it but now I just want to keep improving.

"I haven't really trained as much as I wanted to or played as much and it's a lot different to the wing so it's still a transition I have to undertake and work on a lot because I want to be fullback for the rest of the year."

Johnston injured his hamstring during the Rabbitohs' loss to the Dragons in Round 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and due to the nature of the injury was sidelined up until last Friday night's game. 

"My hamstring is fine. It was just my lungs. I needed to pack another pair of lungs out there. I had a pretty bad tear of the hamstring though," he said.

"I tore the tendon which apparently takes a bit longer than the muscle [to heal] so I had to make sure I was close to or 100 per cent before I came back."