Greg Inglis and Latrell Mitchell are set to square off in a mouth-watering twist to Friday night's SCG blockbuster between the Rabbitohs and Roosters.
The Herald understands Inglis, who was yesterday named in the centres despite being in doubt all week, will switch to the right edge of the Rabbitohs attack on Friday.
Centre of attention: Greg Inglis is set to square off against Latrell Mitchell on Friday night.Credit:AAP
If Inglis hasn't called the shots from fullback he has exclusively played left centre for Souths, but coach Wayne Bennett is understood to have made a considered push to balance his attack.
Under former coach Anthony Seibold, the men from Redfern relied heavily on their left edge.
Statistics published by the Herald in the lead-up to their preliminary final loss to their opponents on Friday revealed the Rabbitohs scored 38 tries within 10 metres of the left sideline last season – 14 more than the next best team.
That translated to 36 per cent of their total tries, but the reliance eventually spelled the demise of the Bunnies in the preliminary as the Roosters held them to just four points.
It's a sore point that has shaped their preseason.
"We kept getting success so we kept going there, but it probably hurt us in the back end," halfback Adam Reynolds said.
"We probably got a bit predictable and teams read our game plan and came up with ways to stop it, and we didn’t have a Plan B at times there.
"We have taken [a new] approach to things and implemented them throughout our game plan.
"[Now] it comes back to our spine and executing."
Bringing Inglis to the right-hand side of the field will help Souths' attack but it will also allow their skipper to keep a close eye on Mitchell on the other side of the ball.
The similarities between the pair are as clear as day.
Mitchell is packed full of power, has a superb turn of foot and a top speed that allows him to bust tackles with the same regularity which made Inglis a sensation when he burst onto the scene for the Storm in 2005.
"Trying to tackle him and trying to tackle GI at Origin level is virtually similar," Reynolds said.
"Latrell is a star and he showed what he could do last year up against Will Chambers and those quality centres.
"Whoever plays that position has to be on their game, and you can’t give him too much space because he will definitely hurt you.
"They’re tall, they’re strong, they’re quick, they’re both very powerful humans.
"I’m always excited when Greg runs on field.
"He’s one of the greats and will go down as one of the greats of the game."
In addition to the Inglis shift, strengthening the right edge also means allowing Cody Walker more licence to roam.
"I just have a role to roam wherever I feel comfortable," Walker said.
"[That will] also give the boys on the right a bit more of a chance to have the ball.
"We were pretty dominant on the left edge and it is just the way we played last year.
"That’s something we have been working on all preseason and you will probably see a different game this weekend."
Inglis' replacement on the left edge will be Braidon Burns.
His preseason has impressed Walker, who backed him to fill the hole left by his skipper in a match that seems to grow in stature every season.
"These are two sides who have been around forever and that are five minutes down the road from each other," he said.
"We’re fierce rivals and it’s always a huge game for us."
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