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Tevita Pangai Jnr's injury has opened the door for Spencer Leniu to finish what he started in Sunday's NRL grand final.
The Penrith forward was named to play in last year's preliminary-final before falling ill with Rhinovirus and forced out of the side.
He missed their grand-final loss to Melbourne too, the 21-year-old admitting it was a "bitter sweet moment that was pretty hard to take".
But what goes around comes around with Leniu a late inclusion for Moses Leota (calf) in the preliminary final win over Melbourne and he has since been retained for the grand final following Pangai Jnr's knee injury.
"That was pretty hard to take; if I played then maybe I would've played in the grand final as well," the Auckland-born prop said.
"I didn't feel like I was sick enough to not play ... but I didn't want to give anything to the boys going into the grand final.
"It was a hard pill to swallow at the time, definitely.
"Just soaking in the whole week, being in the grand final at a young age, was a really special moment for me even though I wasn't playing."
Leniu made 45 metres from just four carries in an 11-minute burst off the bench against the Storm to prove he will add something to Ivan Cleary's side behind Leota, who has recovered and will start.
Pangai's omission after his late-season move from Brisbane ends a six-game Penrith cameo before he joins Canterbury next season.
Meanwhile, fellow Penrith forward James Fisher-Harris also had scans on a knee issue but has been named to play.
Winger Brian To'o half-jokingly arrived at Monday's media session in a wheelchair as he manages a sore ankle, while Dylan Edwards (foot) is expected to play despite Charlie Staines being added to an extended bench as cover.
And, named at No.7 for Souths, halfback Adam Reynolds (groin) insists he'll be fit to vie for a title in his final game before leaving his long-term club for Brisbane next year.
Reynolds has been on light duties this week after restricting his kicking duties in Friday's win, with rookie fullback Blake Taaffe assuming the role of goal-kicker.
Benji Marshall will provide cover off the bench, allowing Wayne Bennett to name an unchanged 17 after they cruised past Manly to reach the final after preliminary-final losses in the last three seasons.