Rabbitoh Reynolds' last chance for Origin I
Maturing South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds has been handed one last opportunity to prove his worth to New South Wales against the Melbourne Storm on Friday night.
With Roosters and incumbent NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce being suspended for one match and fined $20,000 following his arrest in Kings Cross last weekend, NSW selectors eyes will fall squarely on Reynolds this week as he heads towards a showdown with Melbourne and Queensland trio Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
With Blues coach Laurie Daley failing to contact the livewire 23-year-old in the aftermath of the Pearce situation, Reynolds isn't getting ahead of himself.
"Everything there I can't control – I don't worry about it. I've got a job to do at South Sydney and if I can do that to the best of my ability that's all I'm worried about," Reynolds said.
"I'd love to play [Origin]. I think I'm ready. I'm understanding the game a lot better than what I ever was. The last few weeks I've really challenged the line more than I have and progressed my game but in saying that it's a credit to our big boys in the forwards there... and it makes my job a lot easier.
"I just have to worry about myself and Souths at the moment and just doing my part for them [but]... if my name does get read out I'm more than happy to put my hand up."
With his Rabbitohs going through a tough run in the early stages of the season Reynolds is focused solely on his role in the NRL at this point – as the Alexandria Rovers junior begins to rattle off his mental checklist he has in place to improve his future performances.
"The kicking game needs to be spot-on, taking charge of the bigger boys and leading the team around. [I] just need to keep my head down and work hard," Reynolds explains.
"In those tough times you ask yourself some questions. I sat down with 'Madge' [Souths coach Michael Maguire] and tried to work out how we are going to get ourselves out of this slump and as a team we responded really well.
"The last few weeks we've been playing some really good footy and the other night [against the Titans] it was another step in the right direction."
With the Storm travelling up to Sydney to take on the Rabbitohs this Friday night, Reynolds appears prepared to give it his all especially considering the class of his opponents.
"It's a good challenge for us. They're a great side. They play for 80 minutes and they're always a tough team to beat. No matter what sort of form they're in they always show up against us and always put their best foot forward," Reynolds said.
"You see all the games they've been in this year and those three have been standouts. The rest of their team are quality players and they're not far behind them so it's going to be a tough challenge for us and it's going to be good to see where we're at."