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Cook desperate to help Bunnies despite short turnaround

NSW hooker Damien Cook is desperate to back up for South Sydney in Thursday night's clash against Wests Tigers in a bid to help his club end a three-game losing streak.

Cook flew into Sydney from Perth late on Monday night, just 72 hours before the crucial Bankwest Stadium clash.

The 28-year-old backed up for the Bunnies against the Knights less than 48 hours after his Origin I efforts but fatigue appeared to take a toll and he was replaced by coach Wayne Bennett after 69 minutes. 

Bennett is unlikely to rest Cook or his Blues team-mate Cameron Murray this week given that forward leader Sam Burgess is missing and the club is staring down the barrel of four straight defeats. 

"I'm very keen to help the guys get back on track, we've had a good start to the season but it's been a tough month with injuries and players missing," Cook told

I always get a buzz going back to club footy after Origin because they're a big reason why I made it in the first place

Damien Cook

"I always keep in touch with the boys while I'm away, guys like Cody and Reyno, to see how training is going.

"You kind of miss them when you're away because you're used to being with them every day of the week.

"I can't speak for the other boys but I always get a buzz going back to club footy after Origin because they're a big reason why I made it in the first place."

Cook and Murray are expected to be named to face the Tigers but won't train until Wednesday. The same scenario applies for winger Dane Gagai, who had a quiet game by his own lofty Origin standards on the right edge.

South Sydney could also welcome back halfback Adam Reynolds for the encounter, allowing the Bunnies to possibly field their first-choice starting spine for the first time since round nine.

"We've probably realised now how much we've missed Reyno over the last few weeks with little things he does on the field," Cook said.

Young forwards to step up for South Sydney

If Reynolds does get back on the field this week he can mount a late challenge to fill the NSW Blues No.7 jersey for Origin IIII.

Scans revealed Nathan Cleary had not suffered syndesmosis damage but the Panthers star is still expected to miss the July 10 decider, opening the door for Reynolds or Knights No.7 Mitchell Pearce.

"I'm sure they'll give Nath every possible chance to get himself right but if that's not the case there's plenty of playmakers in form and Adam Reynolds was under serious consideration before he went down," Cook said.

"He would do a good job and he's been in the arena before."

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