The big question remains, do you go for an experienced NRL player who has fought back from the adversity of a career-threatening spinal injury, or do you go for the brother of one of the best imports to enter the NRL for quite some time?

It is a tough question to consider, but as we draw closer to the NRL season, Ben Ross and George Burgess are fighting it out for the vacant prop spot in the Rabbitohs side.

Burgess, who is the brother of fellow Souths enforcer Sam Burgess, has made his intentions clear, by stating that come season’s end, he hopes he has made his first-grade debut by then.

Burgess has taken the nickname of current Souths prop Scott Geddes, the nickname being Big Poppa, and Burgess is sorry that he took Geddes nickname, who is now known as “Scott”.

“I feel bad for taking his nickname because I know deep down he really likes it,” Burgess said.

“We’ve got a great forward pack here, and it will be tough getting into it, especially being 18 and against so many seasoned pros. But throughout the season there will be injuries, that’s inevitable, and hopefully if there is an opportunity I’ll be ready.

“If it isn’t a goal to play in the NRL this year I shouldn’t be here. If you’re in the squad you should have every intention of playing [first grade].

“I’m looking forward to starting in the Toyota Cup, but my realistic goal will be to play NRL at some point this season.

“I’ll get in there and try and turn a few heads.”

Whilst Burgess is starting his NRL career on a 2-year deal, former Sharks prop Ben Ross is just pleased to be playing in the NRL once again with the Rabbitohs.

Ross has not played a game since the opening round of 2011, whereby he injured his neck, and as a result, underwent many operations, and endured a tough rehabilitation period.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time about Saturday, and I’m keen to play in all the trials and be there for round one,” Ross said.

“Because we’ve got such a strong team, if all the boys play to their potential, it will be tough to break in this year. I hope to play a good standard of footy that Langy [coach John Lang] likes.”

By ricky

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