Josh Reynolds during Wests Tigers training at Concord Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Josh Reynolds during Wests Tigers training at Concord Oval, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello

For Reynolds, the action is the juice

THERE'S not much point asking any of the Tigers - or anyone in rugby league, for that matter - what Josh Reynolds will bring to the side because just about everyone already knows.

Few players can be boiled down and described by a single phrase but when anyone talks about Reynolds, who starts at hooker this Saturday against the Knights following injuries to Robbie Farah and Jacob Liddle , it always comes back to the same word - energy.

"It's infectious. A lot of things he does on the field takes effort, and he applies that effort, that attitude, to all areas of his game," said veteran backrower Chris Lawrence.

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"It's something a lot of the boys feed off, it makes you want to reciprocate. That's the type of mentality we're going to need.

Reynolds has endured a tough few seasons. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.
Reynolds has endured a tough few seasons. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

"Some times you do need a bit of that lift when you're struggling, when you see a guy like Josh with a really good kick chase, making those effort plays - it lifts you.

"That's what he'll bring."

It doesn't matter if Reynolds has only played nine NRL games since joining the club, it doesn't matter if he hasn't played first grade since Round 7, it doesn't matter that hooker's not really his spot anymore (he hasn't started a game there since 2011) - the Josh Reynolds experience is one of energy, boundless and unending, which manifests itself as maximum effort at all costs and times.

Nobody has ever come away from a game Josh Reynolds has played and questioned if he had more to give. He goes as hard as he can for as long as he can - and then he keeps going some more.

"I love it. The best thing for me is that it's pretty easy, it's not a hard thing to do for me because it comes naturally," Reynolds said.

Energy and effort is Reynolds’ trademark. Picture by Brett Costello.
Energy and effort is Reynolds’ trademark. Picture by Brett Costello.

"If that's want they want from me then that's what they're going to get, and maybe a bit more.

"I like to think that getting a bit older and further in my career I've changed the way I've played a bit.

"I've added a bit of touch to my game - the only frustrating thing is not being able to showcase it over the last two years."

Those last two years have been difficult for Reynolds. Injuries have restricted his NRL appearances for the Tigers and even when healthy he's spent much of this season in reserve grade.

Energy, if not properly directed, can become destructive and Reynolds freely admits if such misfortune happened to him at the start of his career "my head would have been falling off".

Even five years ago, Reynolds wouldn't have been able to take it. The downside of wanting to play and win so badly is that sometimes you want it too much, so it consumes and destroys from within.

Can Reynolds be the hero the Tigers need. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.
Can Reynolds be the hero the Tigers need. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.

"Life's not meant to be fair, that's one thing I've realised," Reynolds said.

"I've got some perspective. I've gone back to Canterbury Cup and played and trained with guys who come from eight-hour days at work.

"That's tough. It really is. In a weird way, it's been really good for me.

"I try not to take life too seriously, cause in the end it can eat you away. I can see how some guys would be bitter and kick stones, but I choose not to go that way."

With the Tigers open to releasing him from his big-money contract, Reynolds will be put firmly back in the shop window as the regular season closes.

Not that Reynolds is thinking about it. There is only this game, on which the Tigers finals hopes rest, then the next two and maybe, hopefully, some more after that.

"I don't think three games is going to define who I am," Reynolds said.

"These three games, I want to have a good impact and play good footy, but I'm not thinking past this week, for now, or past these three games.

"It'd be selfish of me to do that I reckon, because there's 16 other guys there that I'm playing with who are just thinking about winning.

"If I was thinking about my future instead of right now, that's a bit selfish."

Besides, there's no need. Everyone knows what Josh Reynolds is about, and if anyone needs some energy there's only one guy to call.