South Sydney have suffered a big blow ahead of their preliminary final clash against Penrith after centre Campbell Graham suffered a minor groin injury.
“Campbell Graham won’t be playing… he’s got a bit of a groin problem and we just haven’t had enough time to get it right,” Rabbitohs head coach Wayne Bennett told Sydney Morning Herald.
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“We’ve been managing it for a month now… We’d prefer he’s playing but he’s not. We’ve managed injuries all year and we’ll manage this one.”
Graham’s omission means that the stage is set for Jed Cartwright to start in the centres, pitting him against the team that moved him on months ago.
Cartwright left the Panthers mid-season citing a lack of opportunities and has since played five games for the Rabbitohs this year.
“He’s played a lot of centre in his football career, it’s not something he hasn’t played before,” Bennett said.
“I see a really good football player there. He’s well skilled, he’s got good attributes… I just like what he brings, the players like playing with him.
“We can trust him.”
Jed Cartwright masterclass vs his former club, just had to happen didnt it https://t.co/M5pBJXlSjX
— sam (@sammiee_k) October 16, 2020
The Cartwright name has been synonymous with the Panthers, with Jed’s father John playing over 180 games for the Panthers and representing both New South Wales and Australia during his career.
“It’s a great name… His father was a wonderful player, I coached against his father,” Bennett said.
“His grandfather was very instrumental in building the club. It’s 2020 now, he’s (Jed) playing for Souths.”