Manly fullback Brett Stewart's fitness has been a big talking point leading into Friday's NRL preliminary final against South Sydney, but Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has sounded an ominous warning about his own superstar No.1, Greg Inglis.

Maguire said on Wednesday he was sure Stewart would play in the ANZ Stadium clash despite a hamstring niggle which kept him out of Manly's two previous finals games.

He compared Stewart's importance to Manly to that of Inglis for the Rabbitohs, with Souths suffering a late-season slump when their talismanic fullback was out with a knee issue.

"He (Inglis) is good at the moment; he trained really well over the last two weeks," Maguire said.

"A lot of people have talked about his knee, but I see Greg particularly this week moving really well.

"He's enjoying what he's doing too so, when Greg is in that mood, there's good things to come."

While Stewart adds an extra edge to Manly's attack, Maguire said the Sea Eagles boasted quality threats across the field, in their halves, forwards and centre Jamie Lyon.

The humble coach downplayed talk that Souths had chosen him as coach ahead of master mentor Wayne Bennett.

"I've heard all the stories, I'm glad Wayne went somewhere else, because it gave me the opportunity to coach such a great club," Maguire said.

When it was suggested he could be up against Bennett in the grand final if Souths win on Friday and Newcastle upset the Roosters the following night, Maguire resorted to repeating the mantra he has recited throughout the season.

"We're focused on this week," he said.

While he also downplayed the Rabbitohs' 42-year wait for a title, he couldn't escape his own history of coaching success.

"If you can win with Wigan, you can win with Souths," barked an elderly passer-by, referring to Maguire's trophy-laden two-season stint with the English glamour club.

Maguire anticipated a very physical clash, but denied there would be any inordinate niggle or hatred between the two sides after some testy incidents in recent clashes.

He dismissed the suggestion Souths would run into a Manly side fatigued by tough finals matches against the Roosters and Cronulla.

"They will do all their recovery, and that's what the season's about. You're doing it every week, practising to make sure you perform on the weekend," Maguire said.

"We're expecting that they will be at their best and we've got to make sure we are as well."

 

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