Rugby League

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire says Russell Crowe-Luke Keary dispute dead and buried

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has moved to put to bed the notion of unrest at the club, saying the drama involving owner Russell Crowe and five-eighth Luke Keary was dead and buried.

Keary was publicly berated by the Hollywood Star at a team bonding session at Crowe's Coffs Harbour property in December and stormed out of the gathering and returned home.

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Crowe took to Twitter on Wednesday to apologise for the incident, with Maguire left to pick up the pieces at the Charity Shield launch on Wednesday.

"We understand where it's all at," Maguire said. "At the end of the day it's all dead and buried now.

Apology: Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe.
Apology: Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe. Photo: Getty Images

"I think Luke was quite smart about it – he didn't have to go through a nine-hour bus ride to get home because he jumped on a plane, and good on him for that. There has been a lot of speculation around it though, and I understand that because there's a lot of profile involved. 

"Seeing the two of them grow from what they have been through is something we can take forward now. As a group and a team, it's something we're definitely going to use."


Keary will miss the start of the season due to a suspension he picked up at the end of last season, but his position in the team is not under threat, says Maguire.

"We want to excel, and [Keary's] one player who plays a big part in what we're about up until this point, and he'll play a big part of it moving forward," Maguire said.

Sprayed: South Sydney's Luke Keary.
Sprayed: South Sydney's Luke Keary. Photo: Getty Images

"Luke Keary is keen on playing at his best this season, and he's vital with what we're doing. Just the way he has developed his game, I think Luke's a born leader.

"Unfortunately, throughout our last season we had a few injuries and our combinations weren't quite there but now we have had more time to forge relationships over the pre-season."

While the Rabbitohs have lost some big names in the off-season, the return of Sam Burgess is a significant boost for a football team that looked tired towards the business end of its title defence.

Maguire said Burgess' brief stint in the 15-man code has made him "hungrier than ever" and predicted special things from the 2014 Clive Churchill medallist in his second coming at the Rabbitohs.

"Everyone knows what Sammy's like, he's a real positive man and a big presence," Maguire said. "He's been through a lot himself in what he's endured, but what he's gained is a lot of experience in who he is as a person.

"What he's learnt since he's been away has meant he's come back a better person. He's bouncing around and he's training really well, too.

"The only effect [his hiatus] has had is probably that he is looking hungrier now than he ever has been."