Panthers v Rabbitohs: Nathan's back; Same 17 for Bunnies

The Rabbitohs' impressive win over the Roosters has added plenty of spice to the grand final rematch with Jason Demetriou's men looking more assured and ready to exact a measure of revenge for last year's decider.

With Lachlan Ilias looking more comfortable in the No.7 and big game players Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Murray stepping up when their team needed them, the Bunnies broke their drought in style last Friday.

The Panthers, meanwhile, are 3-0 and doing it all without superstar halfback Nathan Cleary, who is expected to be back on deck this weekend at a packed BlueBet Stadium.

The emergence of young guns Izack Tago and Taylan May is further proof of the depth of talent the premiers have at their disposal and a good sign for later in the season when a number of their senior players will be away on Origin duty.

The Rundown

Team news

Panthers: A massive boost for the premiers with Nathan Cleary ready to return after his off-season shoulder surgery. Cleary's last game was the 2021 grand final on October 3. The other change to the team that beat Newcastle is Scott Sorensen into the starting 17 for Chris Smith, who failed his HIA after he was hit high by Mitch Barnett in Bathurst. Lindsay Smith comes on to the bench.

Rabbitohs: On the back of an impressive win over the Roosters, coach Jason Demetriou has named an unchanged squad for the grand final rematch.