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Rabbitohs reckon new scrum rules will help unlock Latrell magic

Latrell Mitchell's mere presence at fullback will allow South Sydney's potent back line to exploit the new scrum rules, according to centre Braidon Burns.

With attacking teams now being able to pick where they feed the scrum - in the middle of the field or 10 or 20 metres from the nearest sideline - the central option has proved popular in the pre-season, with defences having to spread three players on each edge.

That permits more individual battles and/or the offensive fullback to chime in and create an extra number.

"Obviously Latrell's a big attraction out the back - a lot of centres and wingers are going to be trying to shut him down and it's going to open a lot of space for me and Campbell [Graham]," Burns told on Monday ahead of South Sydney's round-one ANZ Stadium stoush with Cronulla on Saturday.

The Rabbitohs used the centrefield tactic perfectly early in the Charity Shield win over the Dragons. Left winger Graham scored after Burns ran a decoy before Mitchell threw the last pass.

Episode 2 - Michael Morgan

"Having [Latrell] at the back will open up a lot of opportunities for us. In the Charity Shield, the first time we got the ball you saw that. Hopefully we can do that a bit more this year," Burns said.

"I think a lot of teams will take it to the middle just to open it up on both sides. We've got Jimmy [Roberts] on the other side who is really quick, so he's a strike [weapon] as well.

"Another option you can do is take it to the 10. I think a lot of teams will play from there and put everyone on the same side."

Graham agreed the mid-field scrum would be a "strike weapon for just about every team this year".

It's not the only rule new that Graham has to worry about on the flank as the outlawing of tackling attacking players in mid-air adds another layer of complexity to high kick contests.

Graham, who stands at 197cm, is likely to be pitted against athletic Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo.

"He's a quality player, a strong lad," Graham said.

"You've just got to get up [in aerial contests] and do your best and work on your kick-catch technique.

"Depending on where it is on the field whether you go up and contest it or however you handle that, I suppose you have to make that decision on the night, on the field, in the moment."

Reynolds: I'll back teammates on challenging calls

Meanwhile, new skipper Adam Reynolds said he'll share the responsibility for the captain's challenge system.

"If [something happens] over the other side of the field, there's no point me rushing across to try and see what's happened or be the sheriff in it all," Reynolds said.

"[I'll] leave it in the boys' hands who think that they're right or wrong. There's no plans, just get out there and do what you feel.

"Obviously don't use it up too early. If we think it's blatant and we think we can overturn it, then yeah sure, but later on in the match if we feel like we can get one we'll give it a crack."

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.

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