Highly-rated teenager Adam Doueihi has been handed his NRL debut after South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds was ruled out for up to a month following knee surgery.
In a crushing blow for the Rabbitohs' early-season hopes, Reynolds suffered the injury in the first half of the Rabbitohs' season-opening loss to the Warriors in Perth.
It was later revealed he would need an arthroscopy and teammate Dane Gagai praised Reynolds for finishing out the match under duress.
"He mentioned he had a bit of a problem but I didn't know it was as serious as it was," Gagai said.
"He's an outstanding player and plays above his weight. He toughed it out.
"He pushed through the game and I thought he done a great job there.
"It's disappointing but we've got to move forward."
Reynolds' injury is a bitter blow for the Rabbitohs, who had just celebrated the return of skipper Greg Inglis from a knee reconstruction which limited him to just one game last year.
Doueihi will start in the halves alongside five-eighth Cody Walker with coach Anthony Seibold preferring the Lebanese international over Robbie Farah.
Doueihi, 19, starred for the Cedars during the World Cup where he played alongside Farah.
Former Wests Tigers hooker Farah has been named on an extended bench however appears unlikely to take on Penrith on Saturday with Seibold again naming Damien Cook at No.9.
Walker said he was ready to shoulder the playmaking duties as Doueihi finds his feet in first grade.
"Reyno's the chief playmaker in our side and it's my turn to step up," he said.
"I played halfback when (Reynolds) was out a couple of games there (last year); I think the Brisbane game I played half with (John Sutton).
"It's something I need to do this weekend."