Competition is the key word for Michael Maguire ahead of our Charity Shield clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons. After watching his young Rabbitohs put in a strong performance against the Sea Eagles in last weekend's Campbelltown trial match, Maguire is open to which players will earn a starting spot in Round One.
With Campbelltown providing a good hit-out for his squad, Maguire declares there is a hunger and focus on improving around the Simply Energy High Performance Centre. Bringing back in his senior players, Maguire is expecting the competition for places in his final squad to lift performances.
"There is still obviously a lot of competition in the team," said Maguire.
"It's another opportunity for our players to get out and perform and get close to that round one team. At the end of the day there is plenty of opportunity for our players to put their performances out on the park."
With Maguire opting to rest Inglis for the Charity Shield after his Indigenous All Stars efforts, the coach is excited by the opportunities in his back line as Alex Johnston shifts to fullback.
"Obviously young Sifa (Siosifa Talakai), I thought he performed very well against Manly and he's got the opportunity this week," said Maguire.
"But right across the park - as you look at the guys that are sitting on the bench, I've got a lot of quality sitting there - I'm sure they're going to be ready to go when they get the chance."
One position that is proving especially difficult for the Head Coach to decide on is the hooker role, with both Farah and Cook improving in pre-season.
"Both the boys will get forty minutes (in the Charity Shield)," said Maguire.
"I want to see how they perform and that will lead into what we have in round one. They're two very quality players and I'm looking forward to how we use them moving forward.
"Both can be in the team, Cookie (Damien Cook) is a very versatile player and a very good number nine as well. I'm very spoilt in that area."
Although the on-field battle is going to be an exciting one, the Charity Shield is set to once again shine a spotlight on the great work Souths Cares does in the community and that's a point that Maguire doesn't want overlooked.
"Souths Cares, as everyone knows, is a major part of who we are," said Maguire.
"I think it's something great for our players to focus on outside of footy. We do a lot for the community around here and boys really enjoy doing that and that's a big part of who we are."