South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds says he wants to start the year with a bang and put himself at the top of the pecking order with Mitchell Pearce’s NSW State of Origin jumper potentially up for grabs.
Pearce on Thursday was hit with an eight-week ban for his Australia Day episode which puts into jeopardy his ability to hold onto his position in the Blues’ halves.
While the Origin series opener is still months away, the state’s top playmakers will be lining up to push their case from this weekend’s round one with Reynolds at the front of the queue.
NSW coach Laurie Daley hasn’t ruled a line through Pearce for game one on June 1, but Pearce’s suspension leaves him with just three games to push his case on his return.
Reynolds was being talked up for an Origin call-up last year, only to have his chances extinguished when he suffered a hand injury against St George Illawarra.
Keen to get put himself back in the frame, Reynolds said he was ready to step up to representative football if picked.
“That’s what I plan on doing. I plan on playing good, consistent football for Souths,” Reynolds said.
“As long as I can keep impressing at Souths, that’s all I’m worried about. Selection, that’ll look after itself.”
But first, Reynolds must guide the Rabbitohs through the difficult early rounds. After bowing out in the first week of last year’s finals and tipped to slide following some key player losses, Reynolds will give his Origin hopes a shot in the arm should he help establish the cardinal and myrtle as early-season pacesetters.
“Everything is on us now,” Reynolds said.
“It’ll be good to know how we’ve gone in the pre-season and where we’re at.”