Rabbitohs firebrand Sam Burgess couldn't have been prouder of Adam Reynolds following his State of Origin debut on Wednesday night.
Reynolds found himself under immense pressure at times against an experienced Queensland side but didn't shirk his responsibilities as New South Wales halfback.
In defence, Reynolds only missed one tackle while making 20 and he held his own in attack despite not delivering the killer blow required to prevent the Maroons' 6-4 win.
Proud of my little mate @Rendiggiti on His origin debut last night. Didn't get the result but showed he is the real deal.— Sam Burgess (@SamBurgess8) June 1, 2016
"I was really impressed. I watched the game live so I didn't get to hear what the 'experts' were saying but I'm proud of him," Burgess said.
"One of Queensland's trademarks is kick pressure so he was hounded all night but I think he did a good job to get some kicks away and force some repeat sets. I'd rather look at the glass half-full than half-empty.
"Defensively he got off his line as quick as he could and his first involvement was strong. He did a good job and represented his family very well."
Burgess said Reynolds' Blues debut had been a long time coming and said his taste of Origin football would not only help the 25-year-old at NRL level but also the Rabbitohs as a whole.
Both Reynolds and Queensland centre Greg Inglis are expected to back up for South Sydney's Sunday afternoon clash against the Titans in Perth.
"He's a tough kid mate. We've built that into him you see," Burgess laughed.
"He grew up in the streets of Redfern and is a good fella. I was really happy for Adam because he's probably been ready for a year or two now.
"He understood he had to wait for his time and I guess the stars aligned for him this time and it was probably as good a performance from any half on debut.
"What we have seen from players going to Origin before is that they bring back an intensity of training. So what Adam might bring back is that the level of intensity that they have to train.
"When you're surrounded by the pick of the players in New South Wales there's fewer drop balls and you're training harder. He'll certainly recognise that and bring that back here a bit."
Burgess also commented on brother George's expected two-month layoff after groin surgery and said getting the injury fixed was the best option at this point in the season.
"George's been doing it tough with injuries in a pivotal place really for what he is about in terms of his power and strength. We'll miss him but I think we did the right thing by George," Burgess said.
"Mentally, his body wasn't working the way he would've liked so it was best for everyone to get him fixed. It'll give him the chance to get his body right physically and get back into some shape we know he's capable of.
"I'm sympathetic towards him because I know what it's like to play with injury plus not everyone knows the extent of it publicly."