The fight to replace Dane Gagai at the South Sydney Rabbitohs is continuing, with answers expected to be provided in Saturday evening's first pre-season trial match with the North Queensland Cowboys.

It has been widely reported that Jaxson Paulo is the favourite to shift to left centre, but it's anything but a certainty.

With Josh Mansour and Alex Johnston both pushing for first grade wing spots, it means Paulo's only option to stay in the side has been to shift to centre.

Head coach Jason Demetriou said he sees Paulo as a centre anyhow, however, he is now coming under fire from the experienced Taane Milne and little-known development star Josiah Karapani.

Still an under-21 player, Karapani made seven appearances in the Jersey Flegg competition last year before the season was ultimately brought to a grinding halt.

He scored two tries in his seven games, but averaged an excellent 149 metres per contest and is rated as a star of the future, also recording 41 tackle busts, two line breaks, eight offloads and five try assists during those seven games.

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Demetriou told The Daily Telegraph that both Karapani and Paulo have been among South Sydney's best during the pre-season.

“It’s more about individually getting out there, getting used to some contact, expressing yourself and showing the coach you’ve had a good preseason and you’re ready to put yourself in the frame,” Demetriou said.

“It’s a big reason why Jaxson is playing (Saturday).

“He’s played a lot of first grade on the wing, he hasn’t played a lot in the centres, although I think that’s his position, I think he’s a centre.

“And he’s been one of our best in the preseason. As has Karapani, those two have been a shining light throughout the preseason.

“Jaxson’s a tall, big body, similar to Campbell Graham, and a good skillset. Karapani is a short, powerful, fast, really good feet and very strong. Reminds me of a young Michael Jennings."