True Blue Jamie Soward believes Josh Reynolds should play in the Canterbury Cup NSW for the Western Suburbs Magpies rather than remain as 18th man for the Wests Tigers.
Reynolds was a marquee signing for the Tigers in 2018 but endured an injury-riddled season which saw him play just five NRL games.
He was a key omission in their opening round win over Manly and again finds himself on the extended bench for their clash against the Warriors, but Wests Tigers Michael Maguire has already indicated he is a genuine chance of lining up for the Magpies in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
With Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall solidifying a strong halves combination in 2018, and Robbie Farah winding back the clock with a two-try performance in Round 1, it may prove difficult for Reynolds to find a spot in the Top 17.
“When he went there he was seen as the possible (No.6) replacement but then Benji (Marshall) comes back, Robbie (Farah) comes back and it changes the dynamics of their attack,” Soward told NSWRL.com.au.
“I think Reynolds is the perfect utility but if you’re Michael Maguire, it’s going to take some time to work him back (into the side), especially (after) they win on the weekend.
“At the moment, he’s just got to get some game time and it’s interesting having him as 18th man but it’s an opportunity for him to just go play some footy (for the Magpies) rather than warming up and just watching his team play.”
Reynolds has been well renowned for his competitive nature ever since his NRL debut with the Bulldogs in 2012 – an admirable quality which has earned him four appearances for the NSW Blues.
But although his tenacity and big-game experience would prove invaluable to a youthful Tigers side, the chance to get some bigger minutes for the Magpies should be his priority according to the premiership-winner.
“Personally, I’d play Canterbury Cup NSW although you want to be in the top squad, if you know you’re only going to be getting 15-20 minutes, you’re going to have to do extra work throughout the week anyway,” Soward said.
“If you’re trying to get game time and you want the feeling of your body getting back into shape, remembering Josh had a pretty serious injury with his shoulder last year,
"So you go back and play (Canterbury Cup NSW) and say ‘give me a couple of weeks to get some game time’ and then he can push off the back of good form and warrant NRL selection.”