Wests Tigers open talks with off-contract Bulldog Josh Reynolds to replace Mitchell Moses
Paul Crawley, NRL, The Daily Telegraph
an hour ago
BELOVED Bulldog Josh Reynolds has emerged on a Wests Tigers hit-list as a potential replacement for Parramatta-bound Mitchell Moses.
In a move that will send shockwaves through Canterbury’s heartland, The Daily Telegraph can reveal that the Tigers have initiated talks with Reynolds’ management and those discussions will advance this week.
Off-contract St George Illawarra skipper Gareth Widdop is the other playmaker high up on Ivan Cleary’s radar as a possible halves partner for Luke Brooks in 2018.
The Tigers are also adamant they are still in the fight to keep skipper Aaron Woods and star fullback James Tedesco, despite reports suggesting both players will follow Moses out the door next year.
Cleary earned instant respect among the playing group for the subtle way he went about getting the team ready for their upset victory over North Queensland last weekend.
That has led to new hope within the club that Cleary’s calming influence could ultimately sway Woods and Tedesco to stay and help lead the club into a brighter future.
But with Moses expected to be granted his request for a release in the coming weeks to join the Eels, the Tigers can’t afford to waste time finding an alternative five-eighth replacement.
Reynolds is on the Tigers’ radar along with Dragons playmaker Gareth Widdop
It is understood Cleary has a high opinion of Reynolds and Widdop, and sees them both as a good fit to play alongside Brooks, who last week recommitted his future to the Tigers.
A local Canterbury junior, 27-year-old Reynolds has played his entire career at the Bulldogs but is yet to be offered a new deal, with the Bulldogs linked to Cooper Cronk and Kieran Foran.
Widdop has been in career-best form this year but is struggling to come to an agreement with the Dragons.
There is no question St George Illawarra wants to keep their skipper and have made him a substantial offer, but it still falls short of what the 28-year-old Englishman is currently earning.
While the Tigers’ priority is to do everything possible to keep Woods and Tedesco, if that falls over they have a number of options they are looking at.
Reynolds would be a replacement for the Eels bound Mitchell Moses in the halves
Potential fullback replacements mentioned include Josh Dugan and Will Hopoate, while Russell Packer and Ben Matulino are front-rowers in discussion.
Packer is the only forward in the Dragons’ pack still not signed for next year and previously played under Cleary at the Warriors, as did Matulino who is also off contract at the Warriors.
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