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Full strength Ross ready to rumble

Adrian Warren 04/02/2011 04:33:09 PM Comments (0)

After two long years out of the NRL, South Sydney prop Ben Ross says he is finally back to full strength heading into his comeback game against Newtown at Redfern on Saturday.

The former Queensland State of Origin front-rower hasn't been sighted on the field since suffering a serious neck injury playing for Cronulla in the opening round of the 2009 competition.

Though Ross signed with the Rabbitohs for 2010, he didn't make it back onto the field, but he never doubted he would eventually play again.

He will captain a youthful South Sydney side against NSW Cup outfit Newtown in the Return To Redfern fixture.

"I never lost sight of what I wanted to achieve and I've finally got that day after two years," Ross told AAP on Friday.

"It's probably a bit longer than what I expected, but (I'm) back to full strength.

"It's been two long years and I just can't wait to get back out there and play again.

"We've got three trials ahead and I'll be trying to get as much time as I can in those to prove my worth to Langy (Souths coach John Lang)."

The Redfern fixture represents the Souths debut of big English forward George Burgess, the younger brother of Rabbitohs and England star Sam Burgess.

At 194cm and 120kg, 18-year-old George is Sam's little brother in age alone.

"He looks like he's the goods, he's only 18 and plenty of time ahead of him before he really has to hit his straps," Ross said.

With the younger Burgess and Ross swelling the Rabbitohs pack's ranks, the stand-in skipper acknowledged Souths had plenty of forward firepower in their arsenal this year.

"It's probably a good thing for us that we have got some depth," Ross said.

"In the past we copped a fair few injuries, if that was to happen we know we've got a little bit more depth, a bit more back-up in case things do go wrong."

The Souths side named for Saturday includes a handful of players with first grade experience in backs Shaune Corrigan, Chris McQueen and Junior Vaivai.

Anthony Mundine's cousin Matt was named at five-eighth and former North Sydney back Greg Florimo's son Jay was selected on the bench.

Starting fullback Malcolm Webster is the cousin of Gold Coast star Preston Campbell and Greg Inglis, who moved to the Rabbitohs from Melbourne in December but is still on the injured list.

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