South Sydney coach Michael Maguire is backing his team’s depth as injuries and suspensions cruel the make-up of his team ahead of Thursday’s NRL derby against the Sydney Roosters.
The Rabbitohs will be without five players following bans handed out this week to Braidon Burns, Hymel Hunt and George Burgess, the latter copping two games for striking.
However Burgess’ twin Thomas is expected to get a call-up after his stint in reserve grade last week, while rising talent Siosifa Talakai is likely to slot back into the centres.
Maguire on Tuesday said he’s keen to get Thomas straight into the line-up.
“(Thomas) played really well in the reserve grade game, and he’s been again working really hard in the background to make sure he’s worked at the things I’ve asked of him,” he said.
“He’s doing that at the moment. I’m looking forward to getting big Tommy back in there.
“We’ve got some good depth. A lot of young kids coming through, so it gives us a couple of different options. Young Robert Jennings, he’s come in on the left and done a good job.
“Alex Johnston’s gone down at fullback and he’s been playing well. It’s just allowing these young boys to get an opportunity and when they do get it, they’re taking it at the moment.”
Maguire also remained confident George would return to his best despite admitting his flagrant elbow that landed him in hot water was a tipping point in what has been a tough past year.
George will be available for selection in the Rabbitohs’ round six clash against Penrith.
“Last week George had some big improvements and obviously a bit of frustration came into his game. But I think in every player you face a bit of adversity at some stage,” Maguire said.
“It’s how you bounce back. The work he’s doing in the background, I’m sure that’ll put him in the right path. He’s working hard in his game and he knows what he needs to do.”