Souths’ struggles main concern for Inglis

Greg Inglis is refusing to buy into the Test fullback debate as he concentrates on helping to reignite South Sydney’s stuttering NRL title defence.

With Billy Slater pushing to make an earlier than expected return from a shoulder injury for Melbourne on Saturday, Inglis is under pressure to retain the coveted No.1 jersey for Australia’s trans-Tasman showdown with New Zealand in Brisbane on Friday week.

But Inglis’s more immediate concern is leading the Rabbitohs out of a mini form slump following three defeats in their past four games, including back-to-back losses to North Queensland and Cronulla.

Certain to be included in the centres for the Kangaroos if not picked at fullback, Inglis said a Souths victory over Canberra on Sunday was his big concern.

“Obviously I’m worried about South Sydney and putting in a good South Sydney performance up in Cairns before the rep season comes around.

“That’s coming down the track. I’ve just got to worry about this weekend.”

With several key backs under injury clouds, Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens is considering handing Souths’ tryscoring whiz Alex Johnson a Test debut on the wing at Suncorp Stadium.

The 20-year-old was blooded in camp during Australia’s Four Nations campaign last year without getting a game.

Inglis had no doubts Johnson was up to taking on the Kiwis.

“AJ’s one of those of guys who can change a game within an instant, within a second,” said the Rabbitohs captain.

“But we’ve all got to play a part for that to happen.”

Inglis could not put a finger on why the premiers were leaving their best early-season form on the training paddock but was confident of a reversal of fortunes was just around the corner.

“Training’s been excellent, preparation’s been terrific. We just haven’t been performing on game day,” he said.

“You know teams are going to be stepping up playing against us. We’ve just got to go back and trust ourselves, trust our game plan and get the basic things right.”

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