Upbeat Reynolds hails Marshall's homecoming
Josh Reynolds has outlined the vital role he must continue to play off the field as the club prepares for Benji Marshall's return to Leichhardt Oval in Tigers colours for the first time in 1756 days.
Marshall will be back at Leichhardt on Thursday night against North Queensland for his first game in black, white and orange since the round-19 loss to the Warriors in 2013.
The injured Reynolds won't be back this week. He can't take a trick this year. He missed the first five rounds with a hamstring injury, then returned for the round six win over the Manly Sea Eagles where he fractured the scapula in his shoulder.
"What is going on at the moment is not the best but I like to think I am a positive person in general," Reynolds told NRL.com at the launch of the annual Indigenous Round.
"I am always around the boys and there is no use being down. I always try and be energetic. If I can have my two cents [worth] and maintain a positive attitude hopefully I can have an influence.
"I have still got a part to play and as part of the leadership group I can't go in there and mope around, because that could rub off on some of the younger boys, so I try and keep as involved as I can."
Reynolds is doing everything at training aside from contact but now has to wait for his bone to heal as he targets the round 11 clash with the Penrith Panthers.
"I can still run unfortunately, so I still get towelled up in fitness," he said, retaining his sense of humour.
"Other than that it is a bit of a waiting game because I have a break of the bone and I just have to wait for it to heal. I could be a chance [for round 11] but the key is the contact.
"I feel alright, but when the contact comes it is a different story, especially if I am playing in the middle. I have to make sure it is sweet."
Reynolds said the players were pumped about playing at Leichhardt Oval and aware what a significant day it would be for favourite son Marshall.
"Benji embraces it. He knows what he means to the people that support the club," Reynolds said.
"It will be pretty cool for him. It will be pretty cool for everyone and the boys will be wanting to put on a good performance for him too. It is a special day for him.
"You see Leichhardt Oval and it always looks like it is pumping. It has a Belmore feel to it. The boys have spoken about playing there weeks ago and hopefully they can come away with a win for the fans who show up."
The Tigers have lost their last three games on the trot but Reynolds said they weren't far off reversing that trend.
"It is not as if the boys' attitude isn't there," he said.
"I think we've showed up every week. If we can just get back to what we were doing at the start with our defence, that's what the boys were building their game off. It is not as though we can't score points.
"[Coach] Ivan [Cleary] said in his press conference that we need to go back to basics and when we are doing the basics right, we are at our best.
"If we can get in a set for set battle with the Cowboys, if it goes down to the wire I think we can get them in the end."