South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds is confident the return of Cody Walker and James Roberts will give them the impetus they need to turn their season around.
Walker will make an anticipated comeback into the Rabbitohs line-up after completing a two-game NRL ban for his street fight last December.
And Roberts is all but certain to join him after missing the past two matches as he recovers his fitness following a stint in rehabilitation.
“I’m not sure what Wayne’s thinking, but both boys will be available for selection and excited to get them both back,” Reynolds said on Monday ahead of Saturday’s match against Gold Coast.
“They’re a big part of our side and (we’re) looking forward to it.”
Their inclusions will be a huge boost for a Rabbitohs side that has dropped three on the trot and are mired in the bottom half of the ladder.
Walker, the former NSW State of Origin playmaker, will come in at the expense of rookie Troy Dargan, who was solid over the first two games of his career.
“(Cody’s) ready to get back out there and play. It’s been pretty disappointing having him on the sidelines for the last two weeks,” Reynolds said.
“But Troy Dargan’s come in and done a great job for us. He’s a solid player.
“It’s good for him to get that experience. It’d be good to get Cody Walker back though. He’s controlling that left edge there and he’s a vital part of our team.”
Reynolds revealed Walker addressed the team about the off-field incident in the northern NSW town of Casino that resulted in his suspension.
He was also slapped with a suspended $15,000 fine, while the club was also fined $20,000 for not informing the league’s integrity unit.
“He apologised. But in saying that, we support him and made sure he was going alright and was physically and mentally in good shape,” Reynolds said.
“He’s done his time now, he’s ready to get back out there and play some footy.”
The pair’s return completes a dangerous spine that includes fullback Latrell Mitchell, who was one of the Rabbitohs’ best in Friday’s loss to Melbourne.
Reynolds says the Kangaroos star is showing improvement every week.
“He’s getting more involved. He’s more confident out the back. We see it at training, but we’re slowly progressing in games, which is great for us,” he said.
“He was probably our best player the other night.
“No doubt he’ll have another big impact this weekend.”