Storm centre set to spend the next seven weeks on the sideline due to shoulder injury.
There are only two certainties when the Melbourne Storm clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in round six.
One is that there will only be one team undefeated in the NRL after this weekend, and the other is that Matt Duffie won’t play any part in the game,
Duffie, who will miss seven weeks after dislocating his shoulder in NSW Cup, does leave a considerable hole for the premiers for the next seven weeks but they have ample back-up.
Sisa Waqa, who made an excellent return from injury last round, holds his place on the wing from Monday night’s team, while former Origin half Brett Finch joins an extended bench for the first time this year.
Melbourne showed that they again be one of the teams to beat this season when they came over the top of the Wests Tigers to win last weekend.
Wests looked set to cause the upset through the first 65 minutes of the clash, before the big three of the Storm, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater took over the game and willed their side to victory.
However, the clash with the Rabbitohs is one full of tantalising match-ups with the biggest being that of the two fullbacks, as Slater squares off with Greg Inglis.
Melbourne will also have to keep a close eye on Nathan Merritt, with the try-scoring whiz again showing he knows how to finish well with eight tries in just five games.
There are no changes to the South’s starting 17, with Michael Crocker, Justin Hunt and Jason Clark added to an extended bench.
Bryson Goodwin seems to have won a centre spot over Beau Champion, who played NSW Cup on the weekend.
While the other big injury news from the Storm camp is the loss of Justin O’Niell with a broken jaw until round eight.
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Bryson Goodwin, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, David Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jeff Lima, Ben Lowe, George Burgess, Michael Crocker (c), Justin Hunt
Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Junior Sa’u, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Tohu Harris, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Lagi Setu, Siosaia Vave, Kevin Proctor, Slade Griffin, Kenneath Bromwich, Brett Finch