Roberts ruled out of NRL season for Souths

Pamela Whaley
James Roberts is out for the rest of South Sydney's NRL campaign due to a pectoral rupture

South Sydney have copped a massive blow to their NRL campaign with James Roberts ruled out for the remainder of the season with a pectoral rupture.

Second-rower Ethan Lowe will see a specialist but will miss an indeterminate period after aggravating an old neck injury in Saturday's 20-18 loss to Newcastle.

Roberts is booked for surgery this week and is expected to miss 12 weeks, making him available to play finals should the Rabbitohs feature.

It follows a horror season for the 27-year-old centre, who has played just six games and had sought treatment for his mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lowe's latest setback is a blow for the forward pack, which is already struggling for depth with Tom Amone and Liam Knight both sidelined.

In the backline, Braidon Burns is gone for the season with a knee injury and Campbell Graham is expected to miss another week with a facial fracture, while star fullback Latrell Mitchell will be out for one more week through suspension.

Jaxon Paulo, 20, making his NRL debut on the wing on Saturday for Souths, is likely to retain the spot, while Cory Dennis, Edene Gebbie and Steven Marsters are also options for round 11.

It comes at a difficult period for the Rabbitohs who are on the edge of the top eight based on their better defensive rate, with Cronulla threatening to overtake them.

The Rabbitohs will travel to Canberra on Saturday to face the injury-ravaged side who defeated the Sydney Roosters on Thursday in the NRL grand final rematch.