You can't win a competition without a few older heads, and you can't win a competition without at least a little youth and exuberance in the side.

Luckily for the reserve grade Rabbitohs, they're blessed with both.

South Sydney will take on the Sydney Roosters' feeder team, the North Sydney Bears, on Sunday afternoon at CommBank Stadium, shifting the focus from their dismal first-grade side's antics, and onto a decider.

While both outfits will be sprinkled with NRL talent, there's more than a few familiar faces in the cardinal and myrtle outfit, both young and old, and ready to lift the NSW Cup trophy this weekend.

While Junior Pauga and Terrell May have both been named to suit up for the Bears, the Bunnies will carry eight players that have featured in the NRL in 2023, all in their stating side.

Exciting youngsters Ben Lovett, Tallis Duncan and Tyrone Munro will all play their parts, while the slightly older Shaquai Mitchell and Izaac Thompson were both integral in the side's win over the Bears a fortnight ago.

NRL Rd 1 - Sharks v Rabbitohs
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Shaquai Mitchell of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the round one NRL match between Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs at BlueBet Stadium on March 04, 2023 in Cronulla, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Blake Taaffe has won a Jersey Flegg decider for the Bunnies and has played in an NRL Grand Final as well, and the electric fullback will be eager to finish his time in Redfern with a premiership, regardless of the grade.

Peter Mamouzelos has floated around the NRL side since debuting two years ago, and has long been touted as the eventual replacement for Damien Cook. The rake has a World Cup under his belt with Greece, with rival clubs certain to be watching the young hooker.

While he hasn't grabbed his NRL opportunities, halfback Dean Hawkins has lit up reserve grade this season, earning the competition's player of the year award, and a win on the big stage here could apply real pressure to Lachlan Ilias in 2024.

However, in the heart of it all, is Yileen 'Buddy' Gordon, a forgotten name by many, ready to finish his South Sydney jersey long, long after it began.

When Gordon debuted for the Rabbits all the way back in 2005, the same year Jesse Southwell was born, he ran out alongside the likes of Adam MacDougall, Shannon Hegarty, Mark Minichiello, Ashely Harrison, David Fa'alogo and a baby-faced John Sutton.

Now, he's running out with South Sydney's 'generation next' as a 36-year-old in a decider, looking to put the cherry on top of a rugby league career spanning just five months shorter than Tyrone Munro's life so far.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Yileen Gordon of the Rabbitohs celebrates scoring a try during the round 24 NRL match between the West Tigers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Leichhardt Oval on August 26, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Head coach Joe O'Callaghan believes the likes of Gordon and Munro are what the NSW Cup is all about, youngster's rising through the ranks and veterans amidst their swan songs.

“Having that mix is what reserve grade is all about. There's some great stories and Yileen is a good example,” O'Callaghan told The Daily Telegraph.

Brock Gray and Jacob Gagai have played at this level for a fair while. Guys like Blake Taaffe, Peter Mamouzelos and Dean Hawkins are using this as a stepping stone for more NRL.

“Tyrone and Tallis Duncan have had that taste of NRL and this will probably be the biggest game of their careers, and they're only just getting started.”

The Rabbitohs will face North Sydney at 3:00pm AEST on Sunday, with the winner set to face Melbourne feeder side, the Brisbane Tigers, on NRL Grand Final day.