Josh Reynolds has given a blunt, honest response to reports that his name is high on the list of players the Wests Tigers are keen to get rid of as part of one of the most ruthless rebuilds in recent memory.
Earlier this month Wide World of Sports’ The Mole broke the news that the Tigers were shopping four Test stars - Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer and Elijah Taylor - as first-year coach at the joint venture Michael Maguire attempts to put his stamp on the roster.
The speculation surrounding the club’s rebuild has only increased since, with Reynolds arguably the biggest name on the hit list doing the rounds. But persistent injuries and form issues have dogged the former Origin No.6 since he arrived, limiting him to just nine first grade games in a season-and-a-half.
Currently stuck behind fellow veteran half Benji Marshall in the Tigers’ pecking order under Maguire, Reynolds is considered an obvious candidate to be cut, particularly given his reported $800,000-a-season salary. The 30-year-old has been around long enough to see plenty of contracted players ousted from clubs and speaking to Macquarie Sports Radio he said it wasn’t a surprise to him that reports were linking him with an imminent exit.
“Nothing’s been mentioned to me from Madge (Maguire) or anyone at the club or my manager, but is it a surprise? no,” Reynolds said. "Because having Benji there and myself, we’re two older heads I suppose and we’re two guys fighting for the one position.
“I got lucky enough to get a really good deal to come to the Tigers. “They probably want the fans and even the club want to show something for that and there will always be a bit of speculation around that I feel whether that’s true or not.”
Reynolds said he had no reason to believe he was actually on the outer due to Maguire’s belief in “genuine conversations”. He said he had faith that the club would let him know if he was unwanted and would focus on finding form and forcing his way back into the first grade side.
“Madge is pretty big on having genuine conversations and being grown men and speaking about it so if that is the case I’m sure he’ll let me know but so far it’s been nothing,” Reynolds said.
While Reynolds is driven by team success he’s been frustrated watching from the sidelines and is desperate to get a sustained crack in Maguire’s top team. However, if that opportunity presents, Reynolds won’t be motivated by anything other than his own hunger to win.