Auva’a, Turner to return for Rabbitohs

Kirisome Auva’a and Kyle Turner will return for South Sydney’s top-four NRL clash with North Queensland after travelling north with the rest of the Rabbitohs side on Tuesday.

Auva’a will return from a domestic violence-related ban, while Turner will come back after sitting out a week due to concussion.

Both players boarded a flight to Queensland on Tuesday, ahead of Thursday’s crucial match with the Cowboys in Townsville.

Souths coach Michael Maguire said Auva’a, who last played in the Rabbitohs grand final win, would be a welcome addition to the side.

“Kirisome is available and we are looking forward to having him ready to go,” Maguire said at Sydney airport on Tuesday.

“He has been playing the last few weeks with reserve grade and he is doing a lot of great stuff off the field as I have said a few times and he is looking forward to getting back on the field with his mates.”

Auva’a was banned until round 23 this season after pleading guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend in Melbourne last year.

Turner was involved in a sickening head clash in the Rabbitohs’ big win over Newcastle two weeks ago in his return to the NRL after undergoing neck surgery in February. He was ruled out of last week’s loss to Manly due to the concussion.

“He was close to playing last week, there are obviously protocols in place and he has ticked off on those this week,” Maguire said of Turner.

“He is really positive, he is really excited about playing football. It was a really unfortunate incident that he suffered two weeks ago but he is looking forward to getting back and playing footy, it is what he loves doing and we all enjoy having him in the team.

“With Kirisome and Kyle Turner we are bringing some good players back into the squad.”

Either Bryson Goodwin or Aaron Gray will make way for Auva’a in the Rabbitohs backline. Turner could start his first game this year after Glenn Stewart accepted a one-game ban for a high tackle.

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