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Rabbitohs not sparing a thought for Crichton

New Roosters recruit Angus Crichton is not exactly persona non grata at his old club the Rabbitohs.

But then again he's not attracting too much sentiment either as the two clubs clash in the 2019 Telstra Premiership opening round.

"I'll focus on what I'm doing for the team and not focusing on Gus," was John Sutton's frank assessment on being the man to mark his former teammate in Friday's night's duel at the SCG.

Sutton played more than 50 NRL games with Crichton so knowing his style over the past three seasons should help the veteran utility be better prepared for his assaults against the South Sydney left edge.

Crichton made 79 tackle breaks in Rabbitohs colours last year, while Sutton made 58.

The 23-year-old NSW Origin second rower also has a handy off-load and turn of speed.

"To be honest we haven't done any video or anything. [Coach] Wayne [Bennett] is big on looking after this team and doing everything right," Sutton said a little coldly.

Asked outright if Sutton missed Crichton, a bit more warmth come across the 34-year-old's face.

"He is a good bloke. I haven't seen him for a while but he's a champion fella," he said.

"He's going to have a long career in the NRL if he wants to do that. He's a good player and good mate. It will be a good challenge this week."

Sam Burgess steps from lock across to the right edge back-row spot vacated by Crichton.

"Angus came through as a junior here. He made his name here and he had a great opportunity with the club," Burgess said.

"What he does well is that he's a strong ball carrier, he can be elusive and he's got some good skill.

"[The Roosters] also have a number of other players in that category. So he's just one of the 17. We won't really jump into bed with 'He's an ex-Souths player'. It will be just another guy we have to do a job on."

Since you know the Crichton game so well, is there an area you can exploit?

"We'll wait and see," said Burgess – the master of the 'read between the lines' answer.

"I'm not getting into it all. We'll let the game talk on Friday. I'm sure John will handle him alright."

That is one truth for certain. There is no other wily rabbit quite like Sutton.

"John is a very smart footballer," Burgess said.

"We've got good coaching staff. I'm hearing he's [Crichton] not in the starting side so that's why I'm not giving him much time."

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