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Rabbitohs hopeful Benji can join Queensland bubble soon

The Rabbitohs hope Benji Marshall can soon join their Queensland bubble after the veteran was forced to withdraw from Sunday's clash with the Bulldogs.

Marshall, who welcomed his second child with wife Zoe in June, didn't travel with the rest of South Sydney's squad on Wednesday to the Gold Coast, where they will be based for at least a month.

The 36-year-old playmaker was meant to fly up with his family on Saturday. However, they are stranded in Sydney after the Queensland government delayed travel exemptions for families of NRL players.

Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett said outside back Braidon Burns would replace Marshall on the interchange against Canterbury.

"[Marshall] just had a second child a [month] ago," Bennett said.

"He didn't think at this stage – with no one much in Sydney to help him with regards to [the newborn] other than carers – that he could leave his wife in that situation. He was to come with them when they came, but they're not coming at the moment until hopefully next week.

"But in view of that, we're trying to get him up a bit early if we can."

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs - Round 18

While Marshall is absent, Bennett confirmed Origin stars Latrell Mitchell, Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Dane Gagai had "no major problems" after Wednesday's series finale and would back up.

While Blues hero Mitchell and Maroons stalwart Gagai had a running battle throughout Origin as they faced off in the centres, Bennett said the pair were back to being "best of mates".

"That's the crazy part about the little tiffs they had with each other – maybe it's just to get you guys excited in the media," Bennett said.

"That's the ethos of Origin, isn't it? Mate against mate and state against state. And they're living that," the mentor added.

As the focus turns firmly back onto clubland, Bennett is looking forward to his team powering through the business end of the year.

"[Origin is] a wonderful concept and I'm very supportive of it, but it's a huge distraction from a club football point of view," he said.

"We've lived with that for a long time and we've managed to get through it again. Everyone's got eight games to go now.

"No further distractions, there's been no major [season-ending] injuries in the Origin series as well ... It's just now mentally and physically recovering for all those players over the next week or two and we'll have a clear run to the last eight games of the season."

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