Graham living the dream for beloved Souths

South Sydney flyer Campbell Graham watched the Rabbitohs' 2014 grand final run as a schoolboy.
South Sydney flyer Campbell Graham watched the Rabbitohs' 2014 grand final run as a schoolboy.

Back in 2014 South Sydney winger Campbell Graham sat in the stands at ANZ Stadium to cheer on his beloved Bunnies in their NRL preliminary final triumph over local rivals the Sydney Roosters.

Then a wide-eyed 15-year-old decked out head-to-toe in cardinal and myrtle, never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that just four years later he'd be running onto the pitch for that exact fixture.

If you want to know just how much Australian rugby league's oldest rivalry means to the people of inner and eastern Sydney, you only have to ask Graham, who has been living it his whole life.

In a special moment for the talented 19-year-old, he will line up for the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium against the Roosters on Saturday night as they attempt to qualify for the grand final.

It will be made extra special by the fact it will be his first NRL game against the Roosters - and it's not an exaggeration to say it's a match he's been dreaming of his whole life.

"My extended family, there was about 10 of us who went out and watched that and the atmosphere was unreal," Graham said of the Rabbitohs-Roosters finals clash in 2014.

"I remember it was a real quality game and just remember Ben Te'o crossing for that try and I was in awe that he was able to carry Jake Friend over the line and score.

"I understand what's at stake."

A Coogee Wombats junior and dyed-in-the-wool Rabbitohs supporter, he understands just how special the game will be.

Graham grew up in the heart of the Rabbitohs-Roosters divide, attending Marcellin College at Randwick, and has mates on both sides of the fence, who he expects to be in his ear this week.

"Being a local junior, growing up you have an understanding of the feeling that the two clubs have," Graham said.

"Representing Souths in the junior rep systems, you experience the feeling between the two clubs.

"I'm sure this week will be no different and I can't wait to rip in."

Australian Associated Press