South Sydney’s clash with the Wests Tigers is shaping as a career-defining game for Ben Ross.
Off contract at the end of the year, the 116-game veteran finds himself the only recognized prop left standing at the club with the Rabbitohs decimated by a horror run of injuries including Roy Asotasi (wrist), Scott Geddes (ACL), Luke Stuart (knee) and Sam Burgess (ankle).
Ross is looking to cement his position in the side after South Sydney gave the front rower a lifeline which led to an inspirational come-back from a neck injury that almost ended his career.
He is looking to repay the faith when the sides meet at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
“I’m looking to play good footy, I’m off contract so I need to play well to impress clubs,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ve done enough to impress South Sydney to stay here, but just see how it comes. I’d love to stay here.
“Our front rowers are all out, and being the only recognized front-rower is a bit tough.
“But the boys who have come in, Eddy Pettybourne and Shannon Mcpherson have been exceptional with their speed and their strength and they are going to do a good job.”
It won’t be easy for the Rabbitohs with Wests Tigers forwards Keith Galloway, Simon Dwyer, Liam Fulton and Chris Heighington all looking to impress before the State of Origin teams are named on Sunday.
“They have a very mobile pack and they are leading by example at the moment,” Ross said.
“Watching their last game against Canberra they were unstoppable and Canberra has a big pack. We will have to fight for every inch to get in a position to win.
“Each game is important for us, especially now that we are light on numbers, everyone has to put in and every two points is crucial for us.”