South Sydney have received the ultimate pre-game rev up with co-owner Russell Crowe firing up the side ahead of their NRL final against bitter rivals the Sydney Roosters.
The Hollywood superstar attended the team’s training session at Redfern Oval on Tuesday morning before addressing the playing group in the team’s inner sanctum.
He was spotted joking with coach Wayne Bennett as the side trained and mingled with retired superstar Greg Inglis.
Returning prop Tom Burgess revealed Crowe read from the Book of Feuds, his book which chronicles the foundation club’s rivalries with opposition teams.
“Big Rusty came in here to pump up the boys,” Burgess said.
“The passion he has for the club is unreal.
“I’ve been exposed ever since I moved here, and even before that. You put 10 cents in him and he’ll talk about Souths all day.”
Crowe makes a point of showing his face known around Redfern when his schedule allows.
The 55-year-old is a lifelong Rabbitohs fan and bought into the club in 2006, five years after they were readmitted into the competition.
The club incurred three wooden spoons from 2003 to 2006 before he helped return them to their former glory and was one of the driving forces behind their 2014 grand-final win.
“He’s got that deep voice and it makes you feel inferior when he talks,” Burgess said.
“He’s great and he’s just passionate, he pumps you up. You’ve got the Gladiator in front of you.”
Crowe made a point of making an appearance ahead of one of their biggest games of the year – Friday’s qualifying final against the Roosters at the SCG.
When asked if Crowe hated the Roosters, Burgess said: “Oh yeah. Without a doubt.
“It goes back a while, he’s been a Souths fan for years. It goes back into the 70s and 60s when they were big rivals back then. You can ask any Rabbitohs fan and they hate the Roosters.”
Outside back Campbell Graham, a local junior and lifelong Rabbitohs fan, said Crowe’s speech had stirred his passion for the club and his disdain for their local rivals.
“It doesn’t take much motivation to get up for this game,” Graham said.
“He poked his head in and gave us a quick chat. He’s got a pretty iconic voice.”