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Souths sign prop Stapleton

Depleted South Sydney have signed their second prop this week, drafting journeyman Craig Stapleton into the NRL club's ranks.

The former St George Illawarra, Parramatta, Penrith and Cronulla forward, who also played for two clubs in the UK, will jump straight from the Wollongong competition to the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium this Sunday.

The 31-year-old has been playing with Illawarra club Wests but is likely to be on the Rabbitohs' bench for their clash with Brisbane.

Third-placed Souths are reeling under the weight of injury suspension and representative duty, with nine forwards unavailable.

The latest to be ruled out were in-form hooker Issac Luke, who was suspended for a late hit on North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston on Wednesday night, and injured back-rower Eddy Pettybourne (jaw).

They signed another NRL discard, Jaiman Lowe, on Monday to help fill the gap but he is also serving a suspension.

"Craig will add depth to our forward stocks for the rest of 2010 and will help galvanise our forward pack with his tough style of play," Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said in a statement.

"He has a high work-rate and doesn't shirk any of the hard work.

"He has shown he can play at the top level and we're looking forward to having him assist our charge towards the finals this year."

Stapleton played 105 NRL games and 52 English Super League matches after debuting for St George in 1998.

In 2006, he was selected in the 2006 Prime Minister's XIII to play Papua New Guinea and the Kangaroos train-on squad.

He won English club Salford's player of the year award in 2008 and 2009.

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