Happy Rabbitohs, happy Reynolds
Following their pre-season 12 months ago spent travelling between Redfern, New Zealand and the UK, the Rabbitohs' lighter schedule has still bred plenty of positives for the club according to halfback Adam Reynolds.
Not unlike any other club which headed to the Auckland Nines earlier in February, the Rabbitohs' only other time spent travelling came last weekend when they scored a 22-20 win over the Titans on the Gold Coast.
Stressing the importance of such trips Reynolds – a late scratching for the Titans trial – insisted the team morale of late has been a happy one.
"Last year was good, as a team we were able to go away and spend a bit of time together and really form good relationships. This year has been no different, heading to the Gold Coast and the boys really enjoy getting away together," Reynolds told NRL.com.
"It's refreshing getting away from every day Sydney life and bunkering down with the team, getting away from the outside influences here. For us it's a good opportunity to get away and put a bit of banter on each other and really enjoy each other's company.
"It's a happy camp, mate. There's a lot of banter going on and as you can imagine there's a lot of friendships being tested but it's certainly good fun. You get to spend most of your days with your best mates and you get to do what you love on the field."
Reynolds's own pre-season itinerary saw him head to Queensland a week prior to lead the World All Stars against their Indigenous counterparts.
Failing to shy away from his time spent picking World All Stars coach Wayne Bennett for advice, Reynolds took plenty away from his week spent with such players as Cameron Smith, James Graham and Ryan Hoffman.
"It was a definitely a good experience. You take a few things away from it; the week was a really enjoyable one. There were some faces there that I'd never met before and you always like to see what other players from other clubs are like," he said.
"I think I found a few friendships there so it was a great week and one that I'll cherish.
"[Bennett] was really well spoken and respectful. He's done a lot in the game and he's still at his peak. He has a real knowledge of the game and to sit down at dinner with him and pick his brains there was definitely worth it."
Moving forward Reynolds is hoping to dramatically improve on his 2015 season, one that was chockfull of injury dramas and indifferent team form.
"I had a mixed bag of a season last year but I've put that behind me and I'm really looking forward to this season. It's a close competition so I'm going to have to be at my best every week and that's where I plan on challenging myself," Reynolds said.
"There was a lot going on last season with injuries and whatnot but that's a learning curve and one I look forward to improving on this year."