While Bayley Sironen, Aaron Pene and Jack Murchie are back, the Vodafone Warriors will be without the injured Chanel Harris-Tavita, Jesse Arthars and Jazz Tevaga for Saturday’s 21st-round NRL encounter with South Sydney at Sunshine Coast Stadium (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Sironen, Murchie and Pene all return in a new-look back row with interim head coach Stacey Jones moving regular second rower Euan Aitken into the centres for Adam Pompey and switching Josh Curran to the interchange.
Pene is named to start for Tevaga, who’s out with a shoulder injury he picked up against the Storm.
Hooker Wayde Egan will start at standoff where he was used for the last 52 minutes of Friday night’s clash against Melbourne after Harris-Tavita left the field with a knee injury.
Sironen returns from a broken eye socket while Murchie is back after staying in Australia last week to be with his partner for the birth of the couple’s daughter.
Match: Rabbitohs v Warriors
Round 21 -
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell MitchellFullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex JohnstonWinger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Isaiah TassCentre for Warriors is number 3 Marcelo Montoya
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 5 Jaxson PauloCentre for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 18 Izaac Tu’itupou ThompsonWinger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody WalkerFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Wayde Egan
Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan IliasHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita TatolaProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien CookHooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy Lussick
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Daniel Suluka-FifitaProp for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Bayley Sironen
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Jack Murchie
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron MurrayLock for Warriors is number 13 Aaron Pene
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Blake TaaffeInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Taniela Otukolo
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Davvy MoaleInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Josh Curran
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Mark NichollsInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Jackson Frei
Replacement for Rabbitohs is number 3 Taane MilneReplacement for Warriors is number 22 Adam Pompey
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Senior Review Official: Kasey Badger
With Egan in #6, Freddy Lussick starts at hooker for the second time since his mid-season arrival. Providing back-up on the bench is Taniela Otukolo.
Jones had originally intended to use Aitken in his old role in the centres in the homecoming match against the Wests Tigers on July 3 but he was moved back to the second row when Murchie was ruled out with injury.
With Arthars nursing a thigh strain, Marcelo Montoya stays in the centres while Edward Kosi, fresh from his hat-trick feat against Melbourne, remains on the left wing.
Saturday's match will be the 39th between the two clubs with the ledger locked at 19 wins apiece since they first met in 1995. However, the Rabbitohs have won 12 of the last 13 encounters dating back to 2013 with the Vodafone Warriors' only success being their 32-20 season-opening victory in Perth in 2018.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina
3.00pm, Saturday, August 6
1 REECE WALSH
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 MARCELO MONTOYA
4 EUAN AITKEN
5 EDWARD KOSI
6 WAYDE EGAN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE
9 FREDDY LUSSICK
10 TOHU HARRIS (c)
11 BAYLEY SIRONEN
12 JACK MURCHIE
13 AARON PENE
14 TANIELA OTUKOLO
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 ELIESA KATOA
17 JOSH CURRAN
18 JACKSON FREI
20 DUNAMIS LUI
21 DAEJARN ASI
22 ADAM POMPEY
23 VILIAMI VAILEA
Head coach | STACEY JONES