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Rabbitohs' Johnston open to NRL offers

NZN 25/04/2017 Darren Walton

South Sydney young gun Alex Johnston is refusing to pledge his future to the Rabbitohs as he looks to secure a long-term fullback role in the NRL.

After bursting onto the scene as one of the game's hottest talents in Souths' 2014 premiership-winning season, Johnston has had to bide his time before getting his hands on the club's famous No.1 jumper.

It's a jersey worn in the past by the legendary Clive Churchill and, until round one this season, Kangaroos great and Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis.

Before Inglis broke down with a likely season-ending knee injury, Johnston had to make do on the wing, where he'd scored the bulk of his 49 four-pointers at a prolific rate of almost a try a game.

Now the 22-year-old has made it known that playing fullback is central to his contract negotiations.

"One hundred per cent," Johnston said ahead of Souths' round-nine hosting of Manly on Friday night.

"I always thought I was a fullback and played fullback growing up, so in the top grade all the chances I get this year I'll be putting my best foot forward.

"I love playing fullback. I've got a taste for it so I'm looking to be playing fullback going forward."

Off-contract at the end of 2017, Johnston isn't making any promises to Souths fans that he'll be at Redfern next season.

"Everything's working in the background. At the moment, I've really just got to focus on footy and focus on playing fullback," he said.

When pressed if he was leaning towards remaining a Rabbitoh, the South Sydney-born-and-raised star said: "It's not heading in any direction at the moment. It's in the background and I'm here to talk about footy".

Johnston's immediate focus is firmly on Friday night and his head-to-head duel with Manly's in-form State of Origin contender Tom Trbojevic.

"Tommy 'Turbo' at the back, he's playing really good," Johnston said.

"So, for me, a challenge against him at the moment will be something good for me to to really look forward to.

"It will be good for me to compete against him."

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