Maguire to finalise his bench

SYDNEY – South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has refused to rule out pulling a late NRL grand final surprise and throwing back-up hooker Cameron McInnes onto his bench for Sunday’s clash against Canterbury.

Api Koroisau has been named as Issac Luke’s replacement at hooker for the premiership decider, but the Fijian youngster has scarcely gone 80 minutes in his fledgling 13-match career.

Maguire admitted at Thursday’s Grand Final lunch at Darling Harbour that he is yet to finalise his bench and how many minutes Koroisau would play at No.9.

With no recognised dummy-half backups on his bench, Maguire might be forced to call up 20-year-old McInnes in a further change to cover Luke’s suspension.

If McInnes was to be called up, bench forward Jason Clark would be in the firing line to lose his spot.

Maguire was keeping his cards close to his chest.

“We’ll see how the game goes, we’ve got a few back-up plans,” Maguire said on stage.

“Api has done a great job and Issac has mentored Api in a great way. We know we’ve got a quality player coming into the team.”

Asked about the prospect of playing McInnes, Maguire replied: “Maybe”.

Another selection Maguire isn’t decided on is whether to start Queensland forward Ben Te’o in the back row, or have the departing powerhouse come off the bench.