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South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett says he will watch how Blake Taaffe handles the move into Latrell Mitchell’s No.1 jersey against St George Illawarra on Saturday before deciding who will play fullback during the upcoming finals series.

Taaffe, who has played four NRL matches in his debut NRL season, has been thrust into the role after Mitchell accepted a six-match ban for a grade two reckless high tackle that left Sydney Roosters centre Joey Manu with a fractured cheekbone.

The 22-year-old is highly regarded by Rabbitohs officials but Bennett has other options, including shifting Benji Marshall or Alex Johnston to fullback.

However, Bennett is believed to be reluctant to make any positional move that forces him to make another change, with Johnston having scored 27 tries in 19 appearances at left wing this season, while Marshall has been filling the bench utility role.

No space, no problems for Rabbitohs

“I just need to see how Taaffe handles it and if he plays the way we want to play,” Bennett said. “I have got to go to the game and find out if it is going to work for us.

“He has played four NRL games this year with us, a couple off the bench and he started in a few. He did a good job in all of those.

“We haven’t got a lot of time left, we have one more game tomorrow and four more weeks left. I have got a couple of options if I needed to use them. We will just see where it all goes tomorrow.

“We have just got to get through tomorrow night, and we will all be wiser and make better decisions. Why don’t we be patient, wait until tomorrow and see how it goes.”

Marshall will partner debutant Lachlan Ilias in the halves against the Dragons while Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker are rested, along with Johnston, hooker Damien Cook, centre Dane Gagai and forwards Cameron Murray and Jai Arrow.

Rookie hooker Peter Mamouzelos will continue his partnership with Ilias from the Rabbitohs 2019 SG Ball side and the pair are expected to fill the same roles for Greece at next year’s World Cup.

“I am looking forward to tomorrow night to see some of these young guys play,” Bennett said.

“They’ve trained with us all season. The downside for them is they have played so little football, but they will be good tomorrow night.”

Blake Taaffe's journey to the NRL

The team will be captained by journeyman prop Mark Nicholls, who is yet to announce his playing future beyond this season but is a Bennett favourite and has gotten better each year he has played.

“He is one of the guys that you love coaching in your coaching career, the unsung heroes who just put their hand up and get the job done for you and everyone in the team loves playing with him,” Bennett said.

“That’s the greatest accolade you can get as a player. Your team-mates want to play with you regardless of what your stature may be in the game."

Bennett was reluctant to discuss the fall-out from Mitchell’s tackle and suspension but confirmed the star fullback would remain with the team until the end of the season to play a role in Souths' premiership charge.

“He wants to stay and we want him to stay,” Bennett said. “With our training, he is very influential there and he will be good around the group there, particularly playing the role of the opposition as we do different drills.”

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