Greg Inglis has a future with clipboard in hand according to coach Anthony Seibold, who also hopes to welcome back South Sydney's leading try scorer Robert Jennings with a new Rabbitohs contract possibly as early as next week.
Inglis returns from a broken thumb against Canberra on Saturday alongside Alex Johnston (hamstring) and Campbell Graham (wrist), while Jennings will be back from a torn hamstring against either Wests Tigers in round 25 or week one of the finals.
With 17 tries from as many appearances before he was injured, Jennings has been arguably the best value for money find of the season after arriving from Penrith last year.
NRL.com understands that a healthy upgrade for the 22-year-old is close to being completed, with the Rabbitohs looking to tie the off-contract Jennings down until at least the end of 2020.
Inglis meanwhile leads the cavalry for a Souths side smarting from back-to-back losses, having joined Seibold in the coach's box over the course of his two-month lay-off.
"We had him doing a specific role there," Seibold said of Inglis' expanded off-field duties.
"He was looking at the opposition attacking playmakers. We had him looking at our back five as well.
"He took on a mentoring role with some of the younger players in our group.
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"The last couple of weeks we had some young guys playing out of position and getting opportunities in our backline. He's taken a real shine to those guys and been a really good mentor for those guys over the last few weeks.
"Greg's like having another coach. At half-time he [would] get around to some of the guys, particularly in the positions that he's very experienced in at fullback and the outside backs."
Asked whether he could see the 31-one-year-old joining the game's coaching ranks when he hangs up the boots, Seibold pointed to an assistant role rather than the rigours of being a full-time head coach.
"I think he'd be great as a positional coach. I'm not sure whether Greggy would like to dig through all the amount of video though. Probably doesn't have the patience for that," Seibold said.
With the Rabbitohs sitting third on the ladder - but equal on points with Storm and the Roosters - the club has resisted rushing either Inglis or Johnston back in recent weeks.
GI a future mentor in the making
Inglis returns a fortnight later than originally scheduled as South Sydney awaited final clearance from his surgeon. But Seibold expects his star centre to fire from the outset given he has spent the last two months tuning up on the training paddock.
"He really dived into getting better physically, he worked really hard," Seibold said.
"He's in very good condition, I'm sure anyone who's seen him during the week would know how physically fit he looks.
"He's hit the ground running this week at training and we're looking forward to welcoming back our captain. He's been out for six or seven games now.
"To have him back on the park is a big in for us."