South Sydney premiership winner David Tyrrell is backing the Rabbitohs to go all the way but has his own sights set on helping his junior club Easts Tigers to win a breakthrough Intrust Super Cup title against Redcliffe.
The 29-year-old prop was part of Souths’ own drought-breaking 2014 premiership victory, the club’s first title in 33 years, and will line up at prop for the Tigers on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.
Tyrrell, who played 155 NRL games for the Rabbitohs, left Souths at the end of 2017 to return to Brisbane where he also works in recruitment securing employment for executives for the construction industry.
He has been in regular touch with the likes of Jason Clark and Damien Cook this season and is backing the club ahead of the showdown with the Roosters on Saturday night, before suiting up with Easts in the Intrust Super Cup season decider.
"I am a pretty loyal guy and this year was a great opportunity to transition home to Brisbane and get back to my junior club Easts where it all started,” Tyrrell told NRL.com.
"It is definitely an exciting time for the club but there is 80 minutes to go and we are not counting our chickens yet.
"I've been keeping in contact with some of the boys at Souths and they are really enjoying the environment and what Anthony Seibold has done for the place and they are playing good footy as a result.
"I have full faith in those guys [winning the title]. I was there for so long and I saw what they went through every week. I was part of that with them and I know what they are capable of."
Tyrell made his debut for Easts in 2006 on the wing and played alongside current coach Scott Sipple.
Sipple secured Tyrrell's signature over a beer in Sydney last year and said the former Rabbitoh had returned home to Easts for all the right reason.
"Last year the day before the NRL grand final I met with Dave at the Bondi Beach pub for lunch and a beer and he was keen to come back to Brissie," Sipple told NRL.com.
"He said he didn't care about the money. I think he had Redcliffe and the Blackhawks chasing him and he could have gone to England to play Super League, but he just said he wanted to come back and play with us because he loves the club.
Rabbitohs v Roosters - Preliminary Final, 2014
"He was out for 10 weeks with a knee injury but the last four to six weeks he has just gone to another level. He is a quiet man off the field Dave but the quieter he is the better he plays and I’ve noticed this last month that he is just focussed on doing the job.
"He’s leading the forward pack in the tough, old school way he plays his football. He knows what this time of the year is about.”
Tyrrell said pulling on the Tigers jersey again was a no-brainer.
"That is all I wanted to do," he said.
"I’d been in the top flight for so long and it takes a lot out of you mentally. My first year at Easts was the year I played with Sipple in 2006 and it is funny how it all works out.
"We are back together again. He’s coach and I am running around on the paddock still."
If Souths beat the Roosters and Easts prevail over Redcliffe then Tyrrell will play in the Intrust Super Championship against Newtown or Canterbury as a curtain-raiser to the NRL grand final featuring his old club at ANZ Stadium.