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South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold has named Greg Inglis at centre, his first full NRL game back since his knee injury in 2017.

Playing at fullback is Alex Johnston, who performed well in the role when given opportunities last season.

Mark Nicholls is named at prop, beating George Burgess to the spot. The former Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm front-rower was impressive in the Charity Shield.

Tevita Tatola will make his NRL debut from the bench beating out experienced campaigner Jason Clark. Robbie Farah has been named on an extended bench, with Damien Cook preferred at hooker.

Peta Hiku gets the nod at centre in Stephen Kearney’s Vodafone Warriors team. Anthony Gelling was named in the reserves.

With Simon Mannering out due to injury, Ligi Sao will play at lock. Isaiah Papali’i is named in the back row.

Sam Cook is also one of those new faces, named to come off the bench after a solid pre-season.

Key match up: The Rabbitohs welcome back the services of Greg Inglis from a knee reconstruction, and he looked to be back to his devastating best in his 20 minutes during the Charity Shield clash.

While the Vodafone Warriors announced they have locked up the services of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the next four years and will be looking for a big game out of their skipper.

For the Vodafone Warriors to win: Attack, attack, attack. Last season the Vodafone Warriors got bogged down in completion percentages at the expensive of their natural game. Plenty of offloads and a bit of Shaun Johnson magic is what is needed Saturday night.

For the Rabbitohs to win: Win the battle in the middle third. With the Burgess brothers leading the way, the Rabbitohs have both the experience and the size advantage in the forwards.

Stat attack: Though the Vodafone Warriors themselves admit they need to play a more expansive style of football, coach Stephen Kearney needs to find a way to do so while maintaining last season's ball control numbers. They finished season 2017 with the highest overall completion rate at 79.7%, and the equal-fewest errors with 225 (9.4 per game).

Defence needs to be sorted out if South Sydney is any hope of returning to the promised land. The Rabbitohs finished 13th in points conceded (564 points, 23.5 per game) last season as well as conceding the second most tries from the opposition boot, with 21.

The Vodafone Warriors have lost their last five straight against the Rabbitohs dating back to 2013 and South Sydney heads to Perth off the back of some excellent trial form, including the encouraging Charity Shield win over the Dragons.

Prediction: Rabbitohs by 10.

Perth Stadium, Saturday March 10, 4.00pm (7.00pm AEDT; 9.00pm NZT)

Head-to-head: Played 31, Vodafone Warriors 18 wins, Rabbitohs 13 wins.

Last five games:

  • Round 24, 2017; South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Vodafone Warriors 36-18.
  • Round 23, 2016; South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Vodafone Warriors 41-22. 
  • Round 13, 2015; South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Vodafone Warriors 36-4. 
  • Round 13, 2014; South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Vodafone Warriors 34-18.
  • Round 17, 2013; South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Vodafone Warriros 30-13. 

2017 points scored per game: Rabbitohs 19.1; Vodafone Warriors 18.5.

2017 points conceded per game: Rabbitohs: 23.5; Vodafone Warriors 22.9. 

Odds: The Vodafone Warriors are paying $2.60 in the head-to-head odds on the New Zealand TAB, the Rabbitohs $1.45. Check out all the odds for the match right here.

Televised: Live on SKY Sport 2 and Fox League


South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston; 2 Richie Kennar, 3 Dane Gagai, 4 Greg Inglis (c), 5 Robert Jennings; 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Reynolds; 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 10 Mark Nicholls; 11 John Sutton, 12 Angus Crichton; 13 Sam Burgess.

 Interchange: 14 Cameron Murray, 15 Tyrell Fuimaono, 16 George Burgess, 17 Tevita Tatola.

Reserves: 18 Robbie Farah, 19 Jason Clark, 20 Hymel Hunt, 21 Adam Doueihi.

Vodafone Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c); 2 David Fusitua, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo; 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson; 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Adam Blair; 11 Isaiah Papali'i, 12 Tohu Harris; 13 Ligi Sao.

Interchange: 14 Sam Cook, 15 Leivaha Pulu, 16 Sam Lisone, 17 Bunty Afoa.

Reserves: 18 Jazz Tevaga, 20 Mason Lino, 21 Agnatius Paasi, 22 Anthony Gelling.

Match officials: Main referee: Grant Atkins, Assistant referee: Jon Stone, Sideline officials: Tim Roby, Rickey McFarlane.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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