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George Burgess desperate to return for finals after nine-week ban

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However, his spot has effectively been taken by Tom, who is scheduled to come back from a knee injury and has been named on the bench.

Front-rowers Liam Knight, Junior Tatola and Mark Nicholls have all been named in the Rabbitohs’ 17 ahead of George.

The biggest question facing George is his match fitness after spending more than two months watching on after being rubbed out for his eye gouge on Robbie Farah.

But Tom says George, who is returning to England at the end of the season to resume playing in the Super League, is bouncing off the walls.

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“He’s raring to go. He’s putting himself forward for selection, telling Wayne ‘pick me’,’ Tom said.

“You’ve just got to try to recreate games [at training] through the weeks and he’s been training well. His weight is where he wants it to be.

“He’ll just go hard and then we’ll bring him off.”

Tom has spent the past three weeks out with a medial ligament strain – an injury which usually requires a six-week rehabilitation but has returned to running over the past week.

He said a final decision on his fitness would be made later in the week.

“I’m feeling good. The knee’s feeling stable – that’s the main thing,” Tom said.

“It’s been three weeks. It’s pretty early so we’ll make the call later on in the week.”

AAP

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