South Sydney Rabbitohs sack coach Jason Demetriou after dismal start to season

South Sydney Rabbitohs sack coach Jason Demetriou after dismal start to season

South Sydney have sacked coach Jason Demetriou following the club’s dismal start to the 2024 NRL season.

The Rabbitohs board convened twice on Tuesday, deferring a decision on Demetriou’s future until a second meeting in the evening, when chairman Nick Pappas could be looped in from London.

After that second meeting, third-year coach Demetriou was told he would be terminated after the side’s 1-6 start to 2024.

The perennial heavyweights also crashed out of finals contention under Demetriou’s watch last year, losing seven of their last 10 games.

The club has yet to publicly confirm its coach for Thursday’s clash against reigning premiers Penrith, though either of the club’s assistant coaches Ben Hornby and David Furner would be a logical candidate.

The Rabbitohs’ interim coach is expected to front the media after the team’s captain’s run in Maroubra on Wednesday.

Souths star Latrell Mitchell was suspended earlier in the season.(Getty Images: Mark Metcalfe)

Demetriou had survived swirling rumours about his job security by guiding the Rabbitohs to a spirited 34-22 loss to high-flying Cronulla in their last game before the round-seven bye.

But Souths hit a new low in round eight, conceding the most points in any game of Demetriou’s tenure as they were thrashed 54-20 by Melbourne.

Demetriou held his final training session in the pouring Sydney rain on Tuesday as the board met for the first time to deliberate his future.

The coach had arrived at Rabbitohs headquarters before 7am and was seen embracing players at training as his fate hung in the balance.

Rabbitohs head coach Jason Demetriou (left) is hugged by player Jack Wighton during a training session.

Rabbitohs head coach Jason Demetriou (left) is hugged by Jack Wighton during a team training session on Tuesday.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

As he left at 1pm, Demetriou told reporters he was not aware of any coaching changes and admitted the ongoing speculation had been trying.

“It’s not easy but it is what it is,” Demetriou said.

“It’s a big club, we’re not performing, so questions have to be asked. I understand that, I respect it.”

Souths had tied Demetriou to a two-year contract extension only last October, though it is understood a clause in that deal entitles him to only nine months of wages as his payout.

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