South Sydney NRL coach Michael Maguire is set for a significant backline reshuffle for the second successive week.
Maguire successfully rejigged his side for last week’s win over Parramatta, Souths’ first victory in five games, as Greg Inglis moved to five-eighth.
Now Cody Walker is poised to do the opposite for Thursday night’s round-11 opener against St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium.
Walker starred for the Rabbitohs earlier this season at five-eighth and, after a stint in reserve grade, is set for a move to fullback against the Dragons.
Walker has been named on the wing in place of the injured Michael Oldfield.
But Maguire has indicated he is certain to share the custodian role with Alex Johnston, who moved into the cardinal and myrtle No.1 jersey last week for Inglis.
Maguire was so unimpressed with the Rabbitohs’ round-three loss, during which Sam Burgess was taken to hospital with a neck injury, he had not bothered to review the match.
“I haven’t actually looked at that game,” Maguire said.
“It was a rainy old day and there were some opportunities we could have capitalised but didn’t.
“But we have moved forward from that, we have made some changes with our attack and the way the boys defended (in the last-start win over Parramatta), they looked like they are enjoying their defence again.”
With Inglis again named at five-eighth, Luke Keary remains on the Rabbitohs’ bench.
Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall missed the round-three match due to hamstring trouble and will do so again. Josh McCrone joins Gareth Widdop in the visitors’ halves.
The Dragons, who enjoyed a dramatic golden-point win over Canberra last start, are also without Joel Thompson who has been suspended for the second time this year. Jacob Host moves into coach Paul McGregor’s 17.
* St George Illawarra broke a four-game losing streak against South Sydney at a very wet SCG in round three. They have not won back-to-back matches against Souths since 2010-11
* Souths are making the equal-fewest errors in the NRL this season (9.2 per game along with Melbourne) and conceding the fewest offloads (7.5 per game)
* Despite now winning half their matches and sitting in the top eight, the Dragons’ attack is still struggling. They are ranked second last in points scored per game (10.5) and, in total, have scored just three points more (105) than struggling Newcastle (102).
Source: Fox Sports Stats