Skipper John Sutton returns for South Sydney’s round 26 clash with the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
South Sydney skipper John Sutton returns from a knee injury to lead the Rabbitohs against Sydney Roosters on Thursday at Allianz Stadium.
Sutton has been named at five-eighth with Luke Keary shifting to halfback to replace the suspended Adam Reynolds.
The clash between the second-placed Roosters and the third-placed Rabbitohs could potentially decide the destination of the minor premiership should Manly lose to North Queensland on Saturday.
Fullback Greg Inglis said the return of Sutton is a big boost ahead of the finals as coach Michael Maguire begins his preparation for a first premiership for the club in 44 years.
“He had a few tests to get through to make sure he was all clear but the good thing is young Keary has stepped in and done well,” Inglis told AAP.
“The same goes for Kyle Turner who’s gone a bit unnoticed.
“Alex Johnston is the same. He has a good head on his shoulders, is willing to learn and they are all doing that in the games they play.
“I remember when I was young and first came into first grade, it was about having fun.
“You look at their faces before games and at training, they are smiling and happy – it’s what they’ve dreamed of doing.”
James Segeyaro is back in the Penrith side to face the Warriors after returning from Papua New Guinea following the death of his father.
The Panthers have lost the last two matches without their hooker and five-eighth Jamie Soward said his return is a huge boost.
“I spoke to James, he’s doing OK the little fella, I’ll pick him up in the car pool this week, I’ve been a bit lonely without him,” Soward said.
“He’s been doing it tough, but we’re all grown up enough to respect his privacy and the media have been pretty good at doing that.
“We can’t wait to have James back and playing footy.”
The Warriors, who need to win the game to book a finals spot, are unchanged from the team that hammered the Gold Coast in Auckland last Sunday.
Manly are boosted by the return of prop Brenton Lawrence who missed his first game of the season against Penrith on Sunday due to a knee injury and will face the Cowboys in Townsville.
The hosts are unchanged from the side that laboured to a one-point golden point victory over Cronulla on Monday.
Former NSW and Melbourne prop Brett White will make his final NRL appearance for Canberra on Saturday against Parramatta.
White will retire at the end of the season as the Raiders look to build on the first successive victories for coach Ricky Stuart since 2009.
The Eels will need to beat their former coach’s team to keep alive their flickering finals hopes.