South Sydney Rabbitohs centre Beau Champion plans comeback match in Perth
MICHAEL WASHBOURNE PERTHNOW JUNE 11, 2013 4:41PM
RABBITOHS centre Beau Champion is hopeful of returning for South Sydney's clash against the New Zealand Warriors in Perth on July 7.
Champion damaged ligaments in his right ankle after a collision with Newcastle’s Alex McKinnon earlier this month.
It was initially feared Champion may have broken his leg or ruptured his Achilles tendon, but scans found he had only suffered serious ligament damage.
Champion, who was in Perth today to promote the upcoming clash, has set his sights on returning against the Warriors at South Sydney’s “second home”.
“This is the game I’ll be looking to come back. It was a 4-6 week injury and this sort of brings me about the five-week mark,” Champion said.
“The structure of the ankle is pretty good, just a couple of torn ligaments.
“I’ll be working really hard to try and get myself fit, especially for this game because we’re all really looking forward to the chance to come over here and play some football.
“As players, we love coming to Perth. It is a home game for us and we get a lot of support over here.”
South Sydney sit on top on the NRL ladder and there is plenty of buzz on the eastern seaboard about the foundation club’s chances of ending a premiership drought dating back to 1971.
Champion said the Rabbitohs were doing their best to keep a lid on all the hype surrounding their resurgence.
“If we just keep taking it week by week, and I know it’s a cliché, it will be us in good stead towards the end of the season,” he said.
“We’re travelling along pretty well at the moment and we’ve had a really good start to the season. And it’s been pretty consistent as well.”
Perth was fortunate to witness a blockbuster NRL clash between New Zealand and Manly last year, with the Sea Eagles scoring a come-from-behind win at the death in front of more than 20,000 people.
NRL IN PERTH
It was another positive step for rugby league in Western Australia, which is hopeful of entering a team -- the West Coast Pirates -- in the national league in the coming years.
WA Rugby League chief executive John Sackson said Perth was busy preparing a bid he hoped would be “irresistible” to the game’s governing body.
“The NRL have put expansion on the backburner, I guess is the best way to put it, but we know it’s certainly a big part of the future,” he said.
“From our point of view, we are going to continue developing the game at grassroots level and continue to earn more respect for the code. The NRL games that come into Perth are going to feed that appetite that is growing here for rugby league.
“The bid is still being developed and the intention is there that when we are officially invited to put forward our credentials, we want to be in a position where it will be an irresistible bid.
“We do know that Perth is considered strongly a favourite for a franchise when the NRL do choose to expand and we’re certainly encouraged by that and determined to make the most of that opportunity.”