Greg Inglis will be thrust back into the five-eighth role for South Sydney this weekend as coach Michael Maguire desperately attempts to stop the rot at the foundation NRL club.
Souths’ record 54-4 thumping by Canberra on Sunday was their eighth defeat in a row and a record loss under Maguire.
With Luke Keary’s season likely over due to a hamstring injury, Inglis will return from a three-match suspension at pivot for Saturday’s round 22 clash with top-of-the-table Melbourne at AAMI Park.
Inglis hasn’t played for the Rabbitohs since State of Origin III after being banned for a shoulder charge on Josh Dugan.
“It is obviously great to have a bloke like GI back but yesterday just wasn’t good enough,” Souths utility Cody Walker said.
“I’m sure he is disappointed at what he saw.”
Keary cut a lonely figure as he hobbled around at Souths’ recovery session at Maroubra beach on Monday morning. He was due to go to scans later on Monday.
The premiership-winning pivot injured his hamstring during the loss to the Raiders and didn’t return in the second half amid concerns he has torn the muscle and has played his last game for the club.
Keary will join Sydney Roosters on a two-year deal next season.
Hooker Cameron McInnes admitted the Souths playing group were struggling with their predicament.
“From myself I want to apologise for the performance we put in yesterday because it is not good enough for us or our fans,” he said.
“We are in a place that is very challenging and very difficult that not a lot of us have been in before.
“There is a lot of soul searching and we are really trying to get our way out of it. We will keep pushing each other to find a way out.”
McInnes said the short turnaround to the match against top-of-the-table Melbourne could help Souths.
“We need to have a short memory from what happened yesterday, there is no use holding on to it. We have to let it go, move on and keep driving each other,” he said.