Rabbitohs may face Dragons audition - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs may face Dragons audition

David Beniuk 09/04/2011 12:44:38 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney's players could know by Monday week's NRL clash with St George Illawarra whether the game will double as an audition for potential coach Wayne Bennett.

With Bennett widely tipped to make a call between the Rabbitohs and Newcastle within a week, Souths' inconsistent stars could well be taking to ANZ Stadium with more on their minds than making amends for Friday night's 30-6 thrashing at the hands of the Wests Tigers.

A host of Rabbitohs are off contract, while the club that signs Bennett will almost certainly need to find room under its salary cap for prodigy Darius Boyd,

The Dragons' fullback will reportedly follow his mentor and the Rabbitohs could find room for him with backs Rhys Wesser, Nathan Merritt and Shaune Corrigan's deals all expiring at the end of 2011 along with those of halves Chris Sandow and John Sutton and utility Chris McQueen.

The Knights also have a number of backs coming off contract, including Adam MacDougall, James McManus, Wes Naiqama, Junior Sa'u and Keith Lulia, meaning they'd also have little trouble accommodating Boyd.

Bennett's eventual decision, with Boyd in tow, will have many of them playing for their futures in 2011.

One Rabbitoh whose career prospects may have been decided in the cruellest fashion is prop Luke Stuart who will see a specialist this week after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The 34-year-old, who is also off contract, has arguably been Souths' best player in 2011 but is likely to require a knee reconstruction which will, at the least, end his season.

"It's very disappointing," fellow prop Ben Ross said.

"We'll see what comes when he gets all his scans and everything.

"He's one of our leaders and hopefully we don't lose him."

Souths players were adamant after Friday night's thrashing that speculation about 2012 was not a distraction.

And Bennett or no Bennett, the Rabbitohs know they will need to improve massively when they take on the premiers.

"They're a perfectionist team, aren't they?" Ross said.

"They do everything by the book and they stranglehold every team that they play so I think we'll have to be on our best game to compete with them and get through them."

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