Peats prepares for trip down memory lane
Given how often they were spotted together growing up it was little wonder Nathan Peats and Adam Reynolds were regularly confused for the other.
Their fathers, Geordi and Mark, played A Grade in the South Sydney competition together and although Adam would play junior footy with Kensington and Alexandria he also spent time with Peats at La Perouse.
They progressed through the South Sydney junior ranks and played alongside each other in Harold Matthews and then SG Ball before graduating into the Rabbitohs' under-20s team in 2009.
Short haircuts and a growing collection of tattoos made them next to impossible to tell apart from a distance as they formed an integral part of a Rabbitohs NYC team that made it all the way to the grand final in 2010, Peats captaining the side in their loss to the Warriors.
Peats insists it is easy to tell them apart – "I'm a bit better looking" – but when they meet again on Sunday at the unfamiliar setting of nib Stadium in Perth for the Rabbitohs' clash with the Titans there will be one further difference; Reynolds is now an Origin representative.
Peats watched on proudly from his new home on the Gold Coast like more than two million other Australians on Wednesday night as New South Wales went down 6-4 to Queensland in Origin I and was full of praise for how his long-time mate handled himself on debut.
"I thought he went pretty well. Bit unlucky a few times there and Queensland are obviously a good side and know how to grind out a win so on to the next game," Peats told NRL.com.
"I've known him since we were kids. He's worked really hard and he deserved to be there. I thought his kicking game was pretty good, he was just unlucky with a few points there.
"If they'd won there wouldn't be as much criticism of the NSW team obviously.
"My old man and his old man knew each other from school so it's been a while. We played together as kids and then came through the ranks together with Harold Matts and SG Ball and 20s and played first grade for a couple of years together as well."
Seen as the next wave of South Sydney juniors along with James Roberts, Josh Mansour and Josh Starling who would take the club forward, expectations were high for Peats and Reynolds heading into 2011.
A season-ending knee injury put paid to any hope of Reynolds making his NRL debut but Peats would go on to play 20 games in his first season in the top grade.
All of those were from the bench and in three years at the Rabbitohs he was in the starting team just 11 times in 55 games, which made his eventual move to the Eels in 2014 a more straightforward process than his recent departure from Parramatta.
"It wasn't too hard because I knew it was the right decision to make," Peats said of his decision to leave South Sydney.
"I had two years to go on my contract but Issac Luke was there and I'd played 50 games or so and thought it was my time to go and I think it was the right decision.
"I had a ball at Parra and played some big minutes which I wanted to do and that might not have happened for a couple of years longer at Souths. It was the right move to make."
With a Round 14 reunion with the Eels waiting for him in Darwin after the game against the Rabbitohs this weekend it is a two-week trip down memory lane for Peats who intends to use his time away with the Titans to forge an even brighter future.
"I'm looking forward to getting away with the boys and having a good 10-day trip," said the 25-year-old.
"It's not a holiday, we're going to get some points so it's going to be a good, tough couple of games and it starts off with Souths this week."