Latrell Mitchell will be back from suspension earlier than expected, with the Rabbitohs winning an appeal to have the All Stars match count as part of his six-week ban.
Mitchell too had his season ended, with the star fullback, who played for New South Wales during last year's State of Origin campaign in the centres, missing the final round, as well as South Sydney's three finals games, including the grand final loss to the Penrith Panthers.
He was then due to miss the first two games of this season, with NRL rules stating that trial games wouldn't count towards his suspension, despite the fact he was allowed to play in them with his offence not being deemed Grade 3.
However, any player with a suspension of any kind is not allowed to play in representative fixtures, which meant Mitchell was sidelined from the Indigenous All Stars team who played the Maori All Stars in the first game of the pre-season.
Despite being barred from that contest, Mitchell didn't have a game wiped off his suspension under NRL rules, with representative games not to count.
That decision has today been reversed however, with the Rabbitohs successful in an application, according to a report from Fox Sports' Lara Pitt.
Latrell Mitchell has been given clearance by NRL Judiciary Chairman to return in round 2 v Storm. South Sydney successful in their application to have the All Stars match count as part of his six game suspension @FOXNRL
— Lara Pitt (@LaraPitt_) February 22, 2022
It means the All Stars snub now counts as a match on his suspension, and Mitchell will be cleared to play from Round 2 when the Rabbitohs take on the Storm, looking for their first ever victory in Victoria.
Crucially, it also means the star will get a match in before having to take on Manu once again, with his return originally slated for Round 3 against the Roosters.
It's understood the fact Mitchell has played for the Indigenous team every year since 2017 means the judiciary considered he was likely to be picked once again, and allowed the match to count.
Intriguingly, Jason Demetriou has not selected Mitchell for this weekend's clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons in the Charity Shield, meaning the 24-year-old won't have played a single minute of competitive football since Round 24 when he returns against the Storm.