You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Dragons centre Euan Aitken.

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor has a selection conundrum on his hands with centre Euan Aitken set to return from injury against South Sydney on Saturday night.

While Aitken, who is expected to get the green light to return from a hamstring injury, has already proven this year he is capable of shutting down Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis, the emergence of young gun Zac Lomax will leave McGregor with a tough decision to make as he prepares to name his team on Tuesday.

Lomax, who impressed in the Dragons' victory against Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, has mounted a strong case to reclaim his position, especially given his goal-kicking prowess.

With skipper and regular goal-kicker Gareth Widdop ruled out after dislocating his shoulder for the second time in a month, Lomax's goal-kicking could be the difference between the two teams at ANZ Stadium this Saturday.

Tim Lafai is the Dragons' next best goal-kicker, however he has a career conversion success rate of 66 per cent.

"I've been kicking for a while," Lomax told

"I've always been the kicker in the teams I played in growing up. Obviously Gaz is an unreal kicker and doesn't really miss. If I get the opportunity to kick, I would love it.

"You practice for those sort of moments. You just have to rely on your training and your routine and hit it the same way you hit it all the time. As hard as it is to block out the crowd, you just have to keep your head down and follow through like you've always done."

Dragons young gun Zac Lomax.
Dragons young gun Zac Lomax. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

While Jack de Belin has rated himself better than a 50 per cent chance of playing this weekend, Widdop's injury is expected to see Kurt Mann return to the halves to partner Ben Hunt, leaving a utility spot open on the bench.

With Aitken likely returning, and Nightingale also available to return from an elbow injury, McGregor may consider them as options off the bench if he is reluctant to tinker with a winning formula in the backline.

Regardless he will need to find a new five-eighth, with Mann throwing his hand up to replace Widdop in the do-or-die final against the Rabbitohs.

"It will be a big occasion," Mann said.

"I've played there previously when Gaz was out and I'm confident I can do the job. Benny stepped up massively when he went off as well. I think Benny has found his feet again. He's found his mojo. That game tonight he stepped up massively when Gaz was off.

"I've been hassling Mary (McGregor) all year to play five-eighth. I told him at the start of the year that if there's any chance Gaz or Hunty go down, I'd like the job. He gave it to me before the Tigers game. I'd hassled him a few times. My time here has been a bit of a rollercoaster. But I found my feet and played a few different positions but I was regularly in the team."

"Mary has that faith in me now and we have a great relationship. He trusts me no what position I'm playing. He's given me time at front row and my body shape is nowhere near up to the standard of front row, so he must trust me a fair bit to do that."

Match Highlights: Broncos v Dragons - Week 1 Finals, 2018

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners