South Sydney will usher in a new brand of attacking football according to coach Michael Maguire, following Greg Inglis’ shock move to five-eighth.
Inglis has been shifted to pivot, where he has never won a game for the Rabbitohs, for Souths’ round 10 NRL fixture against Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium.
Luke Keary has been pushed out to the bench as Maguire seeks to snap a four-game losing streak, the club’s worst period since he joined Souths in 2012.
Maguire said the move had nothing to do with Inglis’s ongoing knee problem and would allow halfback Adam Reynolds to play both sides of the ruck.
Inglis will play a dual fullback role with Alex Johnston who returns from injury in the No.1 jersey.
“I am looking forward to seeing him back at five-eighth, Greg and I have spoken about being able to play a different style than we have over the last few weeks,” Maguire said at Rabbitohs training at Redfern on Wednesday.
“When you are going through a period like we have, we have been working very hard to come up with a few little changes to ignite us and that was one of them.
“Putting Greg back to five-eighth is going to give us a great option down that left edge.”
Former Kangaroos winger Johnston returns after suffering a hamstring complaint in round three.
“AJ coming back in is handy for us too, we have that bit of extra speed coming from behind. You are looking to bring something to your side as a coach all the time and this is one of them,” Maguire said.
Maguire indicated the move could be a permanent one.
“AJ has spent a lot of time training at fullback and I think he is going to be a good fullback over time,” Maguire said.
Inglis won the 2007 grand final as five-eighth with Melbourne and played all but one game in the position that year as he claimed the Clive Churchill Medal. He has played just twice in the position at Souths, losing both games.
Inglis spent an extended period practising his last tackle options at training on Wednesday, repeatedly sending towering spiralling bombs from the 40m line just short of the tryline.
INGLIS’ RECORD AT FIVE-EIGHTH AT REDFERN
2015: Round 8 at Barlow Park Cairns, Canberra 30 bt Souths 22
2011: Round 25 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 18 bt Souths 10