Rabbitohs to keep Reynolds and Crichton on ice
The star South Sydney Rabbitohs trio of Adam Reynolds, Angus Crichton and Greg Inglis will likely start the 2018 season without any trial form under their belts according to coach Anthony Seibold.
A Rabbitohs outfit missing a host of big names still accounted for English powerhouse Wigan Warriors in an 18-8 victory on Saturday night, with big names Sam Burgess, Dane Gagai and John Sutton set to return to the Rabbitohs line-up in next week's Charity Shield.
But neither Reynolds or Inglis will be on the team sheet for the clash with St George Illawarra Dragons in Mudgee as they continue their recoveries from respective foot and ACL injuries.
While Seibold was confident that five-eighth Cody Walker would return from a minor shoulder injury for the final pre-season fixture, he also confirmed Crichton is carrying an Achilles issue that could keep him on ice next week.
"I think Cody will be alright, he has trained in the pink (non-contact) bib for the past week," Seibold said.
"He did a little bit of contact yesterday with a few of the other players but we'll have to have a look.
"I'd imagine he'll play. Reyno hasn't done any running for three weeks so I would say it's doubtful for (Reynolds) to play next week.
"I don't think there's a chance of missing round one from what I understand. He did a little bit of rehab running on Friday, and a little bit of goal kicking practice.
"Hopefully, we can get him up and running in little bits and pieces this week.
"He's probably doubtful for the Dragons game but we've got two weeks to get him right so I don't think he'll miss round one."
Crichton is also not considered to be in any doubt for the Rabbitohs season opener against the Warriors in Perth on March 10.
"It's his Achilles yeah, so again how serious it is, I don't think it's anything too major but he's been limping for a bit," Seibold said of Crichton.
"Gus has had a fairly disrupted pre-season as everyone would be aware but he's got plenty of work to do. But he's a pro, he works hard on his rehab."
Meanwhile, Inglis's return from the ACL rupture that cruelled his 2017 campaign may be delayed until the second or third week of the season.
Alex Johnston impressed at fullback against Wigan as he looks to make the No.1 jumper well and truly his, allowing Inglis to shift into a centre partnership with fellow Queenslander and big name recruit Gagai.
Seibold said that while his skipper's recovery is progressing well, the Rabbitohs won't be taking any chances with Inglis's fitness by pushing him to return in round one.
"He's been in full training for the last few weeks now," Seibold said.
"He's been doing full contact, he's not been restricted in any way. He's right at the pointy end of his recovery so we're not going to be silly about it.
"We'll see how he's travelling for round two or round three but if it's round two or three we're not too worried. "
Seibold also raised concern around outside backs Hymel Hunt (hamstring) and Campbell Graham (hand) from the 10-point win over Wigan, though Hunt later told NRL.com he will be good to go against the Dragons next week.