Wayne Bennett has been pressured into one other shuffle of his already decimated backline with rookie Dean Hawkins set to associate Benji Marshall within the halves in opposition to Melbourne.
The 22-year-old Hawkins made his NRL debut in opposition to Brisbane in spherical 5 however has been recalled by Bennett for Thursday night time’s conflict at Stadium Australia.
His 14-minute stint off the bench in Souths’ 35-6 win over the Broncos final month is all of the expertise he’ll be armed with in opposition to Melbourne, who’re angling to re-join the highest 4 with a win.
To make approach for Hawkins, Cody Walker will transfer again to fullback the place he has performed for the previous fortnight whereas Latrell Mitchell serves out a suspension.
“He is succesful, so we’ll see how he goes tomorrow night time,” Bennett stated.
“It is simply attempting to get the stability proper with numerous gamers lacking.
“As soon as Latrell comes again, that may put him again to fullback and Cody will return into his place. We’re simply attempting to make the most effective of what we have.”
Alex Johnson was initially named at fullback and can transfer to the wing, with Taane Milne dropping out of the aspect.
Off-contract halfback Adam Reynolds remains to be no less than one other week away with a thumb damage, whereas Cameron Murray (ankle) and Campbell Graham (hand) will each miss a month.
Winger Jaxon Paulo may also miss eight weeks after surgical procedure on a fractured thumb.
The upheaval has allowed unfortunate winger Braidon Burns to return to first grade after numerous accidents have hampered his rise.
The 24-year-old has performed 32 video games in 4 seasons for the Rabbitohs after numerous leg accidents.
“He is had a few accidents since I have been right here, however he is rehabbed rather well and he is at all times giving his greatest, so I like what he brings,” Bennett stated.
“(The accidents are) a giant of a problem for all of us, however a number of golf equipment are in the identical boat.
“We thought we had a reasonably good squad right here earlier than we began the season, we nonetheless assume we have a reasonably good squad.
“In the meanwhile they’re doing their job for us, as a result of now we have to depend on everybody.”
Regardless of the depletion of their squad, Souths are third on the ladder after eight video games having misplaced simply their opening spherical match in opposition to Melbourne, who raced to a 22-0 lead after half-hour.
Souths have dismal document in opposition to the Storm, profitable 5 of 35 video games and one draw, and have by no means received in Melbourne.
“The factor we take away from (spherical one) it’s we do not wish to begin like we did down there,” Bennett stated.
“They’re at all times high quality, they have been a high quality aspect for in all probability 20 years.
“This 12 months is not any totally different to every other 12 months and we have a problem in entrance of us.”