A battered and bruised Trent Merrin has quashed any doubts about putting his own body on the line again - and now he's challenged his Dragons teammates to do the same in an attempt to resurrect their flagging season.
Still feeling the effects of a brutal State of Origin opener, Merrin will help buck the trend of state players failing to back up for their club sides as they nurse injuries from Wednesday night.
And he knows there will be no respite from a South Sydney side who exposed the Dragons' frailty in the middle twice already this season - firstly in the Charity Shield and then in a 26-6 loss at the SCG.
"We know they're going to come through the middle and challenge us," Merrin said.
"It's not something we're going to be surprised about.
"We've just got to aim up, roll our sleeves up and play tough footy. As an individual I try to make it personal and it's about bettering your opponent.
"If we're all on the same page it's definitely personal. Every time we go out there we've got to do a job and be happy with your personal effort."
While Merrin's NSW teammate Brett Morris will be missing for an extended period for both club and state because of a fractured shoulder, the Rabbitohs' Queensland connection are expected to play.
Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te'o will still be licking their wounds from the Origin opener before donning their club cardinal red and myrtle green jerseys.
And it's Inglis' uncharacteristically quiet Origin which has St George Illawarra fearful of being on the receiving end of a backlash.
"He's a freak of a player and he does it week in, week out," Merrin said.
"He's definitely going to be a danger man and someone we're looking out for, especially after the loss with Queensland, he'll be out to prove a point."
Merrin trained with the Dragons on Sunday morning and said he was greeted with a "buzzing" camp despite coach Steve Price losing his job only six days earlier.