South Sydney look set to reshuffle their line up to face Canterbury in Friday’s NRL “grand final rematch II”, with hooker Cameron McInnes a good chance to return.
McInnes has been sidelined with an ankle problem since last month and wasn’t named on the Rabbitohs’ seven-man bench, but coach Michael Maguire is hopeful he’ll play against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in place of suspended star Issac Luke.
The 21-year-old McInnes will take over as starting hooker next season with Luke’s departure to the Warriors and his mooted return this week is a surprise after it was initially feared he could be gone for the season.
Maguire named former Gold Coast utility Paul Carter at hooker due to Luke’s suspension and has his fingers crossed regarding McInnes.
“I’m hoping. He (McInnes) has trained sort of for the first time yesterday and we’ll see how he is,” said Maguire on Wednesday.
Back-rower John Sutton was named in his former position of five-eighth to replace the suspended Luke Keary but remains in some doubt after suffering a buttock strain in the win over North Queensland last weekend.
Maguire said he would be assessed after a hitout on Thursday before a call was made.
However, Sutton seemed to be moving well at training, working on his kicking early in the session with McInnes firing passes to him out of dummy-half.
If Sutton is ruled out, Glenn Stewart could slot in at five-eighth after serving his one-game ban for a high tackle.
The other option would be to give Cody Walker a crack at No.6 after the North Sydney Bears five-eighth was named on the an extended bench.