Trent Robinson's side will tonight kick off their Title defence in the annual Round 1 fixture between the NRL's oldest enemies at the scene of their last meeting, ANZ Stadium.

The two sides enter the highly-anticipated clash off the back of an interrupted Pre-Season due to returning World Cup Stars and the inaugural Auckland Nines, however both featured in high-profile Trial matches less than two weeks ago.

The Bunnies faced off with the Dragons in their annual Pre-Season showdown for The Charity Shield, while Robinson's men claimed the crown of the world's best after overcoming the Wigan Warriors to claim the Tricolours record-breaking third World Club Challenge win.

Robinson has made just one change from the Squad that featured against the Super League's best back on February 22, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's return to the right wing seeing Shaun Kenny-Dowall shift back to centre and Mitchell Aubusson to the bench.

Aubusson is one of a six man bench named by Robinson, with the Head Coach to confirm his seventeen for the local derby one hour before kick off.

Souths Boss Michael Maguire is without his preferred No.6 in Luke Keary, who was injured in the Auckland Nines, and has named rising star Dylan Walker in the role to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves against the NSW Blues duo of Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.

John Sutton has been named to start at lock, in a shift to the middle of the field from the right edge he's owned in previous seasons.

However the battle of the backs may have to ride second in line behind the battle of the packs come Kick Off on Thursday night, with some of the NRL's most entertaining and brutal big men set to come together in a true clash of the competition's heavyweights.

The likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner and Sonny Bill Williams up against the Burgess Brothers, Chris McQueen, Ben Te'o and Sutton to name but a few, is as mouth-watering as it comes.

The sides met on two occaisons in 2013, sharing the spoils with the Rabbitohs claiming a 28-10 victory in Round 1 at Allianz Stadium and Robinson's Roosters taking out the Minor Premiership and the Round 26 battle 24-12 at this week's venue, ANZ Stadium.

To check out the Roosters side named for the Round 1 clash [CLICK HERE]

And, to hear the thoughts of Boyd Cordner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Assistant Coach Craig Fitzgibbon ahead of the match [CLICK HERE]

 

[CLICK HERE] to check out the most up-to-date Odds ahead of Thursday's match, thanks to Sportsbet.com.au

 

Tickets are still available for our Round 1 clash with the Rabbitohs at the scene of last season's Minor Premiership and Premiership wins, ANZ Stadium.

It might not be our home game but the boys still need Your support as we look to kick off the new year with a win against our arch-rivals. [CLICK HERE] to purchase Tickets.