Sutton remains hopeful of re-signing

Rabbitohs veteran John Sutton remains hopeful of staying at South Sydney beyond the 2017 season.

‌With the numbers for the salary cap in 2018 still yet to be confirmed by the National Rugby League, the 32-year-old is one of a number of players waiting on the outcome between the Rugby League Players Association and NRL over CBA negotiations. 

Under the code's long-serving playing allowance in recent years, Sutton has been part exempt from the cap after 14 consecutive seasons at the famous club. 

Sutton is also in line notch up 300 games in the Telstra Premiership next season and would become the first Rabbitohs player in their 109-year history to join the elite group. 

"I'm just trying to finish the year playing my best footy and all that stuff will get sorted soon hopefully," Sutton told NRL.com.

"I'm not too worried with what's going on with my contract at the moment but we're working on it. 

"I love South Sydney and have always wanted to stay here so hopefully that's what happens." 

With the Rugby League World Cup less than four months away, the Coogee junior is eligible for the Fiji Bati side under his mother's country of birth, Rotuma. 

Despite being overlooked in the Pacific Test match in May, an international debut for the Fijian side is now possible for Sutton and one that would add another illustrious honour to his 275-game career to date. 

"My mum would definitely love me to play but I've just got to finish the rest of this year and see how the body is feeling," Sutton said. 

"I've spoken to the [Fiji] coaching staff about maybe playing so we'll just have to wait and see. I've never played before so it would be something special and I suppose I could bring a bit of experience."

Sutton's move back to five-eighth this season with the loss of Greg Inglis in Round 1 has coincided with the impressive form of Angus Crichton in the back-row, along with another rookie forward in Tyrell Fuimaono.

Rugby union convert Crichton in particular has been a shining light in an otherwise inconsistent season for the Bunnies. 

"I don't think I'll be getting my spot back there," Sutton laughed.

"They're two young kids that are playing great footy for us at the moment week in and week out. I'm just trying to steer them around and give them as much ball as possible because they're damaging.

"It's been good this year to see them growing and have brought a real strength to our team that we probably didn't expect at the start of the season." 

The Rabbitohs head to Cairns on the back of defeat in their local derby clash to the Sydney Roosters and will need to string together a winning streak for a late charge to the finals.

North Queensland have a strong record over the Rabbitohs in recent years, winning seven of their last eight games between the two sides.

And with Maroons representatives Michael Morgan and Coen Hess set to back up after a series win, the visitors are only set to be more confident in the tropical conditions of ending the season prematurely for the Rabbitohs on Sunday.   

"We didn't play great last weekend so have to turn that around," Sutton said.

"There were too many errors and penalties so we couldn't build any momentum. It was a disappointing result.

"The Cowboys are one of those teams that grind for 80 minutes so we have to make sure we're switched on and keep them down their own end as much as we can."