We labelled them The Bunnies Baby Spine when the news broke yesterday that this young gun trio would be playing first grade together for the first time on Saturday night when the Rabbitohs take on the Dragons at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Blake Taaffe, Lachlan Ilias & Peter Mamouzelos along with Jaxson Paulo were all part of the victorious Jersey Flegg Rabbitohs team that defeated the Raiders in the grand final at Bankwest Stadium in 2019.
Blake Taaffe will wear the number 1 jersey in his 5th appearance in first grade as he takes over the fullback role from the suspended Latrell Mitchell.
Peter Mamouzelos will wear the number 9 to give Damien Cook a rest & play his 3rd game in the top grade.
Lachlan Ilias will wear the number 7 to give Reyno a break before the finals & make his NRL debut.
Jaxson Paulo is the most established player from that Flegg squad having scored 10 tries in his 21 games for Souths. He will wear the number 5 & had a blinder on the right wing last week against the Roosters.
21 year old Lachlan Ilias grew up in the inner west of Sydney & played his junior footy with the Leichhardt Wanderers as a Tigers junior.
He played rugby union at Trinity Grammar school on Saturdays & league on Sundays.
Lachy was in the Tigers system but had a huge injury set back when he suffered a broken fibula bone in his leg playing footy.
The Tigers subsequently made the decision to release him, the Rabbitohs swooped & he’s been with the club ever since.
Listen to our Lachlan Ilias interview on Rabbitohs TV below.
22 year old Blake Taaffe grew up in Phillip Bay just off La Perouse in Sydney, then when he was 8 years old the family moved to the Central Coast of NSW.
We have a connection here on Rabbitohs Radio with the Taaffe family. Chaps is close mates with Blakes’ uncle Brad & father Darren.
Mavos’ wife Sam is from La Perouse & grew up with Blakes mum Dorothy & dad Darren.
Listen to our Blake Taaffe interview below.
20 year old Peter Mamouzelos is a Souths junior & played his junior footy for the Maroubra Lions.
When we asked him about being in lockdown with his mates Lachy & Taaffy he said ‘we do everything together go to dinner, lunch, breakfast. We play cards so yeah them being here has made it a lot easier for me.”
Listen to our Peter Mamouzelos interview below.
21 year old Jaxson Paulo is a Kiwi from Auckland who moved to Australia when he was 12 to attend Keebra Park High School in Queensland.
Back in 2019 we interviewed Jersey Flegg coach Ben Rogers & he told us “Jaxson is a rock star who can do anything on the football field & will find himself on a wing in first grade for the next 10 years”.
Listen to our Jaxson Paulo interview below.