Rookie Rabbits star ‘ready’ to replace Mitchell at fullback

South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds calls Corey Allan the “social loafer”, but he has full faith that the rising star will successfully replace the injured Latrell Mitchell at fullback in Friday’s blockbuster against Melbourne.

Allan has received the chance to fill Mitchell’s big shoes after the Rabbitohs’ marquee man was ruled out for the season with a ruptured hamstring.

Souths will miss Mitchell’s firepower in attack but Reynolds believes Allan is ready to prove his worth in the No.1 jumper, even if he thinks he is a person that exerts less effort to achieve a goal when working in a group than when working alone.

“Corey isn’t all there – he is lackadaisy,” Reynolds joked about Allan – the Rabbitohs’ reigning rookie of the year.

“But he is incredibly smart for someone who hasn’t played that much first grade.

“His knowledge of the game is pretty good, and he seems to be in the right place at the right time, nine times out of 10.

“He is brave, he puts his body on the line and he is reliable.

“He has done everything we’ve asked of him and more, so I’m really proud with how he is going.

“I’m happy for him to get an opportunity.”

Alex Johnson and Corey Allan during Souths training. Johnson looks likely to come back in the side at wing and Allan move to fullback to replace the injured Latrell Mitchell. Picture: Phil HillyardSource:News Corp Australia

As capable as Allan is at fullback, Reynolds knows the Rabbitohs will be missing plenty of strike without Mitchell – on and off the field.

“You lose his presence, but it can also weigh on a player’s mind when they are facing Latrell Mitchell,” he said.

“His sheer power, strength and skill out of the back is going to be missed, but Corey did a great job last weekend (against Parramatta), and we know what he has done in the past.

“He has been great for us, and he hasn’t let us down.”

Reynolds will put aside his 200th NRL game celebrations in a bid to improve his woeful record against Melbourne and consolidate Souths’ finals position.

Since debuting in 2012, he has only won two games versus the Storm for a winning percentage of just 15.4 per cent.

The Rabbitohs have also struggled against Craig Bellamy’s men – winning just five from 27 games since 1998.

This poor run is why Reynolds is happy to put his full focus into beating the might of Melbourne.

“They have got strike across the park,” he said.

“Their halves are dangerous, their hooker is pretty smart, and they’ve got some big forwards who run hard, so we are going to have to be on our game across the park.

“But it (200 games) is something that I’ll look back on at the end of my career and be grateful for.

“It is an honour and a privilege all being at the one club.

“It is a great feeling, but nothing really changes for me and I’ve still got a job to do.”

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