Kirisome Auva’a is likely to make his NRL return from a domestic violence suspension for South Sydney’s huge showdown with fellow premiership heavyweights North Queensland next week.
Auva’a will be free to play against the Cowboys after spending the first 22 rounds on the sidelines following his conviction on two charges relating to an incident with his former partner early last year.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and criminal damage and was suspended indefinitely by the NRL.
After undergoing counselling and rehabilitation, he was cleared to make a return to rugby league last month and has been biding his time in NSW Cup.
However he will not be available for NRL selection until next week.
He made a barnstorming return in his first game back in early July, scoring a try and setting up another two.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire says he was pleased with Auva’a’s progress after he dotted down for another four-pointer for North Sydney against Canterbury on the weekend.
Maguire said he would consider selecting Auva’a against the Cowboys in Townsville so long as his form warranted it.
“If Kirisome is performing well and the opportunity arises then I’m sure he’ll be ready to go,” Maguire said on Wednesday.
After making his debut for the Rabbitohs in round 6 last year, Auva’a was a fixture of the Rabbitohs side in their run to the finals and played at centre in their grand final win against Canterbury.
While Maguire was keeping his cards close to his chest, Auva’a is likely to come straight back into the side for their massive clash with the second-placed Cowboys on Friday week at the expense of Bryson Goodwin.
“He’s been great, he’s been training hard and doing extra sessions and he can see there might be an opportunity in the next couple of weeks,” Maguire said.
“He’ll be ready when that comes.”