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Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs: Luke who's back; Latrell ready to go

Wests Tigers have now lost seven on the trot and life doesn't get any easier in Round 22 when they square off against a Rabbitohs side set to be strengthened by the return of Latrell Mitchell.

Now sitting four points behind the 16th-placed Bulldogs it seems the wooden spoon is on its way to Concord for the second successive year unless Wests Tigers can spring some major upsets in the run home.

Tim Sheens' men face three of the big guns in the next three weeks with games against the Raiders and Warriors to follow Friday's clash against Souths, who now sit outside the eight after their loss to the Broncos.

Having lost four of their past five games, conceding 145 points in the process, the Rabbitohs need to quickly find their groove if they're to be part of the finals action for a sixth straight year.

Following a trip to Tamworth this week they head to Perth, Cairns and Newcastle before finishing the season at home in Round 27 - a gruelling schedule that will test their resilience and powers of recovery.

Team news
Wests Tigers: Playmaker Luke Brooks returns from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since Round 15. Winger Charlie Staines (stomach) is also back on deck so Junior Tupou shifts to the centres and Tommy Talau is out. Shawn Blore is back from a quad injury and takes his place on the bench alongside Alex Twal, Aitasi James and Will Smith. Tim Sheens' side remained 1-17 in the 24-hour update. 

Rabbitohs: After a false start last week which saw him drop out of the squad prior to kick-off, Latrell Mitchell is named to return from the calf injury which has kept him sidelined since Round 12. After making his own injury comeback last week, Jai Arrow shifts from the back row to prop, with Jacob Host joining the starting side. Jed Cartwright replaces rookie Tallis Duncan on the interchange. No changes in Thursday's 24-hour update.

Stat Attack

  • Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston has made 24 line breaks this season, equal best in the NRL with Cronulla's Ronaldo Mulitalo.
  • Wests Tigers lost 36-12 to the Sharks in Round 22 last year when they took their home game to Scully Park in Tamworth.
  • The Rabbitohs have 72 try assists in 2023 compared to 35 by Wests Tigers.
  • Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma requires one try in this game to become the first player to score 100 tries for the joint venture club.
  • In his comeback match from a calf injury, Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell requires to two tries in Friday night’s clash to reach the milestone of 100 NRL tries.
  • The Rabbitohs have won six of their past seven games against Wests Tigers.
  • Tigers hooker Api Koroisau has won eight of his past 10 games against the Rabbitohs.
  • Wests Tigers have conceded 30 tries in their past four games.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.

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