Rugby: Russell Crowe may ring brass bell if his team clinch title

Hollywood actor, who owns rugby club Rabbitohs, promises to ring his $27,000 brass bell if his team win the National League in Sydney on Sunday

Canberra: Russell Crowe is one of Hollywood's biggest stars but his role this weekend as owner of Australian rugby league team South Sydney Rabbitohs might be the most nerve-wracking of his career.

Actor Russell Crowe. Pic/Getty Images
Actor Russell Crowe. Pic/Getty Images 

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have not won a league title since 1971 but for the past eight years Crowe has made it his business to break that drought, reports Xinuha.

This Sunday, Crowe's team face the Canterbury Bulldogs in the National Rugby League (NRL) grand final in Sydney, an achievement its fans would not have dared dream about when the side was at the bottom of the table in the mid 2000s. Should the Rabbitohs triumph, a brass bell will ring out. Crowe bought it for $27,000 in 1999 as the club began the legal battle to return to the NRL.

"I bought the bell at a Souths fundraiser in 1999. The last bidder to drop out was the Canterbury-Bankstown club, our opponents this week," Crowe said on Twitter this week.

"Significance of the bell: it was the very same bell that started the first game of professional rugby league in Australia in 1908. Where and when should we ring the bell," he asked fans.

One of the players Crowe was instrumental in recruiting to the club was Englishman Sam Burgess. Burgess will finish his five-year Souths career to return to Britain. "I can talk to Russell about whatever. We've created a good friendship over the years and one that will continue forever."

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