Inglis returns in Souths' Charity Shield win

South Sydney skipper Greg Inglis has made a successful return to the field in the Rabbitohs' 22-18 NRL trial win over St George Illawarra in Mudgee.

The sight of the Souths' superstar stretching out for the first time in almost a year was offset on Saturday when Alex Johnston left the field with what appeared to be a rib injury in the first half.

Inglis enjoyed a 19-minute cameo in the Charity Shield in was his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last year in round one.

He appears certain to take the field in round one after being touch and go just a few weeks ago for the start of the season.

After being crunched by Dragons recruit James Graham in the first half, Johnston left the field in the 33rd minute and did not return.

Dragons fullback Matt Dufty continued his fine pre-season form when he fired through a hole to give his side a 10-6 lead after 19 minutes.

Damien Cook ensured he would start the year in the Rabbitohs' No.9 jersey with another dynamic performance and outpointing Robbie Farah again.

After Cook split open the Dragons' defence and ran 50 metres in the 30th minute, he found Angus Crichton - playing his first game after having off-season surgery to amputate a finger - close to the line to score.

And when Dane Gagai set up Robert Jennings, Souths had the lead for the first time at 16-12.

Souths struggled in attack last year however looked dynamic after being given free rein by Seibold and they put on a scintillating four-pointer as John Sutton turned back the clock to send Cody Walker over.

A Leeson Ah Mau try in the 72nd minute made things interesting but the Rabbitohs did enough to retain the Charity Shield for the sixth year in a row.

"It's been awesome to see him train the last couple of weeks and get out there for a little run," Sutton said of Inglis' return.

"I can't wait to see him in round one."