Bulldogs happy to have Reynolds
You could call it selfish, but Bulldogs players are happy five-eighth Josh Reynolds is not playing Origin.
While a Blues recall could be around the corner, Reynolds will line-up alongside Moses Mbye in the halves to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
Bulldogs back-rower Frank Pritchard – who has battled arm, shoulder and suspension dramas over the course of 2015, made it clear he was happy with Reynolds's Origin omission.
"I'd rather him play for us then play for the Blues. Josh has obviously had a few little hiccups throughout the year, after the City v Country game especially," Pritchard said.
"But he has had time to reflect on that and what he's had to fix and he can only build on that. Josh has copped it on the chin and he knows what he has to do to earn a return for New South Wales."
Prop Tim Browne believes Reynolds will be out to prove he's still capable of being a game-breaker against the Green Machine.
"He doesn't show too much, he acts like it doesn't bother him but deep-down inside of him there's a fire burning there and we all expect him to come out and prove the critics wrong," Browne told NRL.com.
"Last week was one of his best games this year so there's nothing else Josh can do now other than play good footy."
Against the Roosters last weekend, Reynolds played arguably his best game of the year after making 100 metres and producing a try assist.
Bulldogs vice-captain Aiden Tolman believes the club is lucky to have him, especially with Josh Morris, Josh Jackson, David Klemmer and Trent Hodkinson missing through Origin duty.
"He's trying to stay positive. He's obviously disappointed as you understandably would be but he's starting to find his feet again," Tolman said.
"I'm sure over the next few weeks he'll be back to his best so while he is disappointed he can now easily go and prove that he deserves his spot back."
Tolman added that with Reynolds raring to go, and with the timely return of centre Tim Lafai, the Bulldogs are in the best possible shape leading into the clash in the nation's capital.
"It's going to be tough coming up against Canberra they are in some good form at the moment. I know they lost last start but that was against the competition leaders," Tolman said. "Before that they had won a few in a row against some good teams so we're going to have to bring our best game to win."