Ivan Cleary names Lachlan Coote’s replacement.
Tom Humble will be given first crack at the Penrith Panthers’ five-eighth role for the rest of the season after news this confirmed Lachlan Coote will need season-ending chest surgery.
Coote was taken from the field just 11 minutes in his side’s 28-18 loss to the Wests Tigers last round, with Penrith coach Ivan Cleary handing Humble the number six jersey for their game against the unbeaten South Sydney side.
South Sydney will be looking to improve from scrappy last-round win against Cronulla and they have extra firepower in their pack to achieve that with Sam Burgess back in the side after a one-match ban with Jeff Lima dropping back to the bench.
The game is a milestone one for the Englishman Burgess, who is racking up his 50th game in the famous red and green jersey.
Since coming to the NRL, Burgess has been arguably one of the most destructive forwards in the game, averaging averaging 15.5 runs for 126 metres ad 27 tackles per game to go with NRL career totals of 152 tackle breaks, 90 off-loads and eight tries.
Panthers: Dean Whare, Josh Mansour, Wes Naiqama, Geoff Daniela, David Simmons, Tom Humble, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston (c), Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Lewis Brown, Nathan Smith. Interchange: Adam Docker, Nigel Plum, James Segeyaro, Clint Newton, Matt Robinson
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Bryson Goodwin, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Sam Burgess, Issac Luke Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Ben Lowe. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Michael Crocker (c), Jeff Lima, George Burgess, David Tyrrell, Justin Hunt, Jason Clark