The injury to Nathan Cleary has left a vacancy in the Blues side for the second game of Origin against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium. While Nicho Hynes is the favorite to be elevated into the starting side, Adam Reynolds could be an option according to NSW coach Brad Fittler. Reynolds has not played in the State of Origin since suffering a neck injury in 2016. However, his defence, kicking game, big-game experience, and ability to create space for his outside men are key attributes that could get him back in a Blues jersey.
Reynolds’ current coach at Brisbane Broncos, Kevin Walters, who has long been a former player and coach for the Maroons, also believes he has what it takes to succeed in Origin. Reynolds’ intimate knowledge of Suncorp Stadium due to playing his club footy in Brisbane is also an advantage. He knows the weaknesses of key Maroons and Broncos players, Reece Walsh, Tom Flegler, Selwyn Cobbo, and Pat Carrigan.
Reynolds has years of experience playing alongside the current crop of Blues, such as hooker, Api Koroisau, with whom he won a premiership at Souths in 2014, and returning Rabbitohs fullback, Latrell Mitchell. Reynolds is hoping to get another shot at Origin, as it has always been a burning desire for him to get back there and finish what he was trying to achieve back then.
Reynolds’ kicking game was more effective than Hynes’ when they went head-to-head in the Brisbane-Cronulla game on Saturday night, even though Hynes and the Sharks had more possession. Reynolds was also confident he could partner well with incumbent Blues five-eighth Jarome Luai.
Walters thinks Reynolds would be a great addition to the NSW side. “Reyno’s point of difference would be his experience in such a big game, and he’s in good touch,” Walters said. “He’s played in Origins before, at Suncorp, he’s played in grand finals, at Suncorp. He’s your classical Origin half who kicks well and defends well and he’s a smart footballer – he takes good options.”
Reynolds has been working on how to get the best out of his body every week as he has gotten older. Having a sauna built in his home and embracing bikram yoga are some ways he has been responsible for his body. Walters is confident that Reynolds will be able to handle the rigors of an Origin campaign.
Whether Reynolds is picked or not, he is committed to supporting the Blues. His passion for his state and his burning desire to play in Origin again speaks volumes for his character and dedication to the sport.