Anthony Mundine’s teenage son CJ will join South Sydney next season after signing a two-year deal with the foundation club.
The Rabbitohs won the race for the 18-year-old, who wore the same No.6 jersey as his famous father for St George’s SG Ball team before shifting to the Matraville Tigers, where he played alongside 43-year-old Anthony in the Souths Juniors A-grade competition.
While Anthony made 116 appearances for the Dragons and 18 for Brisbane, he has had an association with South Sydney due to the club’s involvement with the Indigenous community in Redfern, where the boxing gym run by his father, Tony, was located until recently demolished.
Mundine also has a close relationship with Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe, who let him set up a boxing ring from his movie Cinderella Man in the bush for a training camp in the lead-up to the 2006 fight against Danny Green at Allianz Stadium.
The four-times world champion boxer also won a premiership with the Broncos in the 1997 Super League season under current Souths coach Wayne Bennett.
“CJ is a good kid and Souths will be good for him, with Wayne being there and there are a lot of good mentors and role models at the club,” said Mundine, who is preparing to fight legendary Muay Thai kickboxer John Wayne Parr at Cbus Super Stadium on November 30.
“Greg Inglis and Johnny Sutton and Nathan Merritt are people he can learn from.
“He has been playing some A-grade against men and that was good for him. He is very mature for his age and he can’t wait to start pre-season training. He just wants to get in the best condition he can.”
Souths were among up to six clubs reportedly chasing the services of CJ, who is a five-eighth or fullback.
Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson said the club viewed him as an exciting fullback option with a bright future.
“CJ is an outstanding prospect and we’re delighted to know he will be learning his trade at South Sydney,” Richardson said.
“He has shown plenty of promise in the junior representative grades, he had plenty of interest from other NRL clubs for his services, and we couldn’t be happier to see him pick the Rabbitohs as his club of choice for his career development.
“He comes from a great pedigree with his father and grandfather both being fantastic athletes in rugby league and boxing.
“We’re looking forward to seeing him develop in our system initially with our championship-winning under 20s squad and to see him live The Rabbitoh Way.”