Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds.

Players on the periphery of Origin selection will most often play it down.

There will be the usual sound bites of focusing 'week to week' or being 'only worried about playing good footy for (insert club here)'.

But Adam Reynolds wants his Blues No.7 jersey back, and he wants it bad.

The Rabbitohs halfback has been something of an understated spearhead of South Sydney's 8-1 start to the 2019 Telstra Premiership, his mercurial five-eighth Cody Walker starring in highlight reels and on the Dally M leaderboard.

But as debate rages whether New South Wales coach Brad Fittler should stay true to 21-year-old Nathan Cleary who guided the Blues to a series win on debut last year, Reynolds has made his intentions known in no uncertain terms.

Closing in on his 29th birthday, Reynolds played the first two games of the 2016 Origin Series but finished on the wrong side of the scoreboard on both occasions.

He desperately wants another opportunity in the game's toughest arena and believes he is far better equipped to take control of the NSW team than he was three years ago.

"It would probably mean more this time around knowing what it's like," Reynolds said less than two weeks out from when teams will be named for Origin I on June 5.

"I know what to expect now. I know what it means to earn that jersey.

"I still get jealous when I see other players run out there and playing in that No.7 jersey.

"I loved every moment of State of Origin. I kick myself that I wasn't there the year after or wasn't playing good footy to be in and around the discussions.

Match: Maroons v Blues

Game 1 -

Full Time
Maroons

Home Team

Maroons

Scored 18 points
Blues

Away Team

Blues

Scored 14 points

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network

"I don't want to let it go. If I ever get it again I want to be there for the next five, six years or however long I'm playing.

"It would be a dream come true again."

A premiership-winner with the Rabbitohs in 2014, Reynolds has always been highly regarded for his kicking game and footballing nous.

But even he admits when he made his Origin debut in 2016 he was far from the finished product, his ability to handle big moments a part of his game that has developed in the past two seasons.

"I know the game a lot more now. I'm more experienced, I can read the play better, I know how to work combinations a bit better now," explained Reynolds, who has polled eight Dally M votes through nine rounds, two behind his halves partner Cody Walker.

"I get what the big games are about now. Even though I won a comp and played Origin in '16 I was sort of still making it up as I was going along.

"Having a couple of tough seasons in between then, you do a bit of soul-searching and look at your own game and where you can improve and how you can make the team better.

"I think that's a strength of mine at the moment. I know what works for our team and how to get the best out of the boys and what's required of my job and how I can improve everyone else around me.

"I'm a proud New South Welshman and obviously loved seeing what they did last year and I'd love to be a part of it again."

One player who is certain to be selected by Fittler barring injury is incumbent Blues No.9 and Reynolds' Rabbitoh teammate, Damien Cook.

Cook believes Reynolds unfairly carried the can for the Rabbitohs when they missed the finals in 2016 and 2017 and says his form is a key reason the team sits equal at the top of the Telstra Premiership going into Saturday night's clash with the Raiders in Canberra.

"He's someone that we put a lot of pressure on when we haven't played well to get the job done. He's taken it on his shoulders to do that job and we probably haven't helped him out the past couple of years," Cook told NRL.com.

"Last year we started playing good footy and we saw how good he really is.

"Obviously Cody's got a lot of brilliance but Adam is one of the main reasons we're 8-1. It's his control of the game, his kicking game and playing his eyes-up footy.

"He's very structured to a certain point but he knows how to take his opportunities. He's probably been consistently our best each week along with Cody."