South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold is in no hurry for Greg Inglis to return to fullback position - but he wants to see his star skipper more involved on game day.
After a long road to recovery, Seibold will refrain from adding any extra pressure to Inglis’s plate by switching him from centre to his preferred fullback position.
But he is keen to send more attack towards Inglis after he received limited opportunities in last Saturday's loss to the New Zealand Warriors in Perth.
"His best position is fullback, there’s no denying that. But he’s showed at Origin level and international level that he’s also a world-class centre," Seibold said.
"We’re going to persist with Greg at left centre this week, at some stage over the next couple of weeks when physically we think Greg’s ready and mentally when he suggests that he’s ready then we will look to make a change there but we’ve got great confidence in Alex Johnston to do the job in the meantime.
"We’d like to see a little bit more ball in his hands, I think he only had six or seven carries [in round one] so one of the challenges I’ve given to Greg is we want him to get more involved."
The round-one clash against the Warriors was Inglis’s first Telstra Premiership game back since the corresponding match versus the Tigers last season.
"You have to understand that Greg only started back with the full group in mid-January so it’s been a limited amount of time that he’s actually been back in full training and then it’s only been a shorter period of time where he’s been in full contact," he said.
"He’s made giant steps, if you would of asked me in January 3rd or 4th would Greg of played Charity Shield or round one I would have said no.
"He's done a particularly good job over the last 6-8 weeks and the performance staff have done a good job just to get him back in the side, to get his confidence back and we will see more improvement from Greg as the weeks go on.”
The Rabbitohs will be underdogs on the road against the Penrith Panthers on Saturday in what is expected to be heatwave conditions but their rookie coach said they could cause an upset if they improve their defence.
"We showed some good signs from an attacking point of view - I think we made eight line breaks, which was the highest across the competition on the weekend. But we need to improve defensively and we know that the Panthers are an attacking threat, they showed it when they had a whole heap of ball there against Parramatta last weekend,” he said.
"Field position and possession is the key against the Panthers, they do have so many attacking threats. If they get enough footy than the Panthers like most NRL teams are going to hurt you.
"We’ve had a really good preparation again, we’re going to go out to Penrith a little bit early tomorrow to make sure that our game day routine is spot on. Other than making sure they are well hydrated we’ve had a good preparation out on the field this week and we expect them to go out and perform regardless of the weather conditions.”