Canterbury NRL five-eighth Josh Reynolds has vowed not to even consider a return to State of Origin despite being arguably the state’s most in-form playmaker.
Reynolds has been somewhat of an afterthought in the discussion for this year’s interstate series, lost in a horde of NSW playmakers who have yet to demand selection from Blues coach Laurie Daley.
Trent Hodkinson, Adam Reynolds (since re-injured), Aidan Sezer, Blake Austin, James Maloney, Reynolds and even the suspended Mitchell Pearce have all been spoken of as contenders.
But despite delivering the match-winning field goal in the Bulldogs’ 21-20 golden-point win over Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon, Reynolds still won’t entertain thoughts of an Origin recall.
“Not one thought, hey. I really have not thought about it one bit,” he said.
“I don’t read anything and I know nothing about it. It’s something that, if it happens, amazing. But, if I think about it, then I’m doing my teammates no justice. It’s not the most-important thing at the moment.”
The 27-year-old admitted he had been guilty of being distracted in the past by Origin glory.
“But that’s just being young and excited,” he said.
“You want to be a part of it but now I know that there’s no use thinking about the future. You may as well be here and now and don’t miss what’s happening right in front of you.”
While insisting his 2016 form was “okay”, he said he was a far more-mature player than this time last year, when a series of brainsnaps meant he spent far too much time on the sidelines.
“I probably had about eight suspensions by now, didn’t I? And four injuries?” he said.
“So in that sense, I’m going a little bit better.”
A heart-to-heart with coach Des Hasler over the summer led to Reynolds focusing entirely on staying in games mentally, particularly in the absence of departed halfback Trent Hodkinson.
“I feel in that aspect, I might have improved a little but I want to keep really improving because, come the end of the year, there’s going to be a lot of games like that,” he said.
“As everyone can see now, it’s a pretty open playing field. There’s no week where there’s going to be an easy game. I just want to keep calm, cool and composed and make sure I’m steering the boys around.”