South Sydney Rabbitohs youngster Blake Taaffe will reportedly be ruled out of the club's season-opening clash against the Brisbane Broncos with an ankle injury.
It was first reported yesterday that Taaffe was doubtful for the clash, having suffered the injury in training on Thursday.
The youngster has now reportedly been ruled out of the game, with the Rabbitohs to confirm their updated team list for the match - at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium - an hour before kick-off, which is scheduled for 8:05pm (AEDT).
It's understood that in Taaffe's absence, star winger Alex Johnston will move to fullback, with Josh Mansour then being called onto the wing after he was overlooked for a Round 1 spot in the favour of Taane Milne, with Jaxson Paulo playing in the centres.
The only other back on the bench or reserves list was Michael Chee-Kam, with the utility likely to retain his spot in the number 17 jersey, while Davvy Moale will be the 18th man.
Taaffe was included in the team at fullback to replace the suspended Latrell Mitchell, as he did during the final rounds and finals series of last year.
Mitchell has been serving a six-game suspension for a Round 24 high shot on Joseph Manu, but is due back next week, meaning Taaffe is unlikely to gain a start at fullback unless Mitchell is injured or suspended again later during the season.
It's unclear if Taaffe will be retained in a utility role off the bench following the return of Mitchell, with the Rabbitohs to take on the Melbourne Storm away from home next weekend - South Sydney having never won a game in the Victorian capital.
Teams for tonight's clash will be confirmed at 7:05pm (AEDT).