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Maguire predicts Reynolds to bounce back, but Tigers future unclear

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire won't stand in the way of Josh Reynolds moving on at season's end but says the club will uphold the remaining two years on his contract if the luckless playmaker can't secure a deal elsewhere.

Maguire spoke to the media on Friday for the first time since revealed on Wednesday that Reynolds has been told by the premiership-winning coach he was free to explore his options after struggling to make an impact at the joint venture.

Reynolds expressed an interest to return home to Belmore on Thursday but no deal or discussions between either parties have begun at the Bulldogs.

The 30-year-old five-eighth picked up a minor groin injury last week and won't play for Canterbury Cup side Western Suburbs this weekend.

"I have a really good relationship with Josh and he's a great fella, I've felt for him over the last few months not being able to get on the park," Maguire said.

"One thing he is, is a complete competitor. For him, he wants to be playing first grade. With the knowledge of Benji potentially staying at the club we had that conversation with him and what he wanted to do in the future.

"He was keen to look around and we've granted that. In saying that he's got a contract with us. It's an opportunity to see where he's at and once he gets back on the field we know what type of player he is."

Raiders v Wests Tigers - Round 18

Reynolds joined the Wests Tigers on a lucrative four-year deal in 2018 but has been restricted to just nine games in 18 months.

Maguire believes the former NSW playmaker still has plenty to offer in the game but will be stuck behind Marshall, who has indicated a desire to play on another 12 months, and Luke Brooks in the halves.

"I've always admired how competitive he is as a player and a person, even way back in 2014 when he was playing in grand finals," Maguire said.

"I'm sure he'll come out of it. It's an opportunity to see where he can moving forward. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes."

Maguire said the club could accommodate Reynolds's hefty contract for 2020 and 2021 if he was unable to secure his future elsewhere.

"We can handle that because it's been planned for in the past," he said.

"Ultimately you're always looking at your salary cap and the list of players and we're not satisfied where we are as a group.

"I'm in the process now of looking at where we're going into the next 2-3 years. That's part of what our job is, to have one eye on where we're going but it's also pretty important what we're doing now."

Josh Reynolds passes for the Magpies.
Josh Reynolds passes for the Magpies. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Tigers travelled to Canberra on Friday afternoon in a quest to get their race to the finals underway.

Maguire labelled the clash as the biggest since he joined the club.

"If we want to have a red-hot crack at it, we started back in November and wanted a few things to achieve. We're right in the mix now to take that opportunity."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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