The Run Home: Rabbitohs

How they stand: After starting the season with victory in the World Club Challenge and Auckland Nines, the 2014 premiers rolled into the 2015 Telstra Premiership season, winning their first three matches. However the loss of chief playmaker Adam Reynolds and injuries to dynamic back-rowers John Sutton and Glenn Stewart, as well as exciting centre Dylan Walker meant the wins became harder to come by. Currently sitting in fourth on the ladder through 19 rounds, South Sydney have come out of the Origin period in a relatively healthy position, and with close to a full squad available, look set to challenge for the game's top prize in 2015. However, standing in their way on the run to the finals are several tough fixtures, including a difficult final month of the regular season which includes a trip to Townsville, a Good Friday rematch with the Bulldogs, and back-to-back meetings with the Broncos and Roosters, with all four of these sides currently in the top eight. While it appears less than ideal ahead of another finals appearance, if Souths are to reclaim the Provan-Summons trophy, these are the teams they'll need to beat in September.

Remaining fixtures:
Round 20: v Knights at ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm, Saturday 25 July.
Round 21: v Panthers at ANZ Stadium, 4pm, Sunday 2 August.
Round 22: v Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval, 7.35pm, Friday 7 August.
Round 23: v Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium, 7.45pm, Thursday 13 August.
Round 24: v Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, 7.45pm, Friday 21 August.
Round 25: v Broncos at Allianz Stadium, 7.45pm, Thursday 27 August.
Round 26: v Roosters at Allianz Stadium, 7.45pm, Friday 4 September.

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Key clash: While many will point to the Round 26 meeting with traditional rivals the Roosters, a fixture that has had significant finals implications in recent years, it's likely the travelling Brisbane Broncos will provide a stern test the week prior in Round 25. After thrashing Brisbane 36-6 on their own turf in Round 1, Souths will be keen to test themselves against a side that has gone on to become a premiership force in 2015.

 

Key player: It looked as though Reynolds would be the man to steer Souths towards back-to-back premierships, however injury has hampered his season. Instead, it seems much of the responsibility will sit with captain Greg Inglis. After a star showing at the back for Queensland in the Origin decider and a number of important fixtures for his club side in the run to the finals, it's time for the Rabbitohs skipper to inspire his team to even greater heights.

Injury report: With Kyle Turner returning via the NSW Cup following neck surgery earlier in 2015, the entire Rabbitohs squad is fit and available for selection, with the exception of hooker Cameron McInnes who picked up an ankle injury in Round 19, while Aaron Gray continues to manage his injuries well. Key players Reynolds and Stewart are still building their match fitness after spending much of the year sidelined through injury.

NRL.com predicted finish: 5th.

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Ladder Predictor: Who will make the Top 8?