Rabbitohs regain two attacking weapons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs regain two attacking weapons

By Todd Balym and Liam FitzGibbon 22/04/2008 07:01:26 PM Comments (0)

At last some hope for winless South Sydney.

Staring down the barrel of a return to the dark days, the Rabbitohs have finally received good news, with hooker Issac Luke and centre Nigel Vagana named to make NRL comebacks in the Anzac Day clash with Brisbane.

Luke has not played since fracturing his hand in round three and Vagana was reportedly close to retirement when stepping down from the side after round one with a hamstring injury.

But aside from adding significant strikepower to their line-up, coach Jason Taylor has made more changes with Eddie Paea promoted to starting halfback alongside five-eighth Ben Rogers.

Taylor has dumped Jeremy Smith just two weeks after pledging to show more confidence in the young halfback and now says he will show faith in Paea.

It is a return to the Rabbitohs' scrumbase combination which took to the field in the round two 25-12 loss to the Bulldogs and is the sixth time in seven rounds Taylor has altered his halves.

"There's no doubt Eddie's still learning but we think it's time to put him in there," said Taylor.

"Let's look towards the future, let's give him a shot at showing us what he can do in the number seven jersey for an extended period.

"It's been a bit hard for him so far being in and out of first grade but it's time we gave him a solid chance and while he's playing first grade there's no doubt we'll get a much better chance to not only see what he can do but also work on the things that he needs to improve.

"There's a few of those but we're confident that he's going to do a good job for us and as I say we think he's the future of our club."

Another coach with his halves on a merry-go-round is Dragons boss Nathan Brown, with Jamie Soward named in the St George Illawarra side to play the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Anzac Day.

Soward replaces dumped five-eighth Rangi Chase and will play alongside halfback Ben Hornby just a week after being told to improve his decision-making in the local Illawarra leagues.

However, Soward never played in the local comp as his team had a bye and he was instead gift-wrapped an NRL return when Chase had a shocker against the Dogs.

In other changes, two premiership frontrunners welcome back suspended players, with Melbourne's Brett White (striking) into the starting side to play North Queensland and Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen (contrary conduct) back to lead his side against Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Gallen is joined by former Newcastle hooker Terence Seu Seu, who was sacked by the Knights last month after a string of alcohol related incidents.

The Tigers recalled injury-riddled five-eighth Benji Marshall (knee) for his first game since round one, with Mathew Head retaining his spot at halfback and John Morris moved to hooker.

Manly have moved Kiwi Test centre Steve Matai to five-eighth for Saturday's clash with an unchanged Bulldogs side after Steve Menzies (hamstring) was ruled out.

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