Five-eighth Blake Austin says Canberra will need to be on their toes against a fired-up Josh Reynolds in Sunday’s NRL clash with Canterbury.
Reynolds will line up for the Bulldogs at GIO Stadium after being dropped by Laurie Daley as NSW’s No.6 for State of Origin I in Sydney.
Austin played alongside Reynolds for City against Country earlier this month and experienced his zeal first-hand.
“We’re going to have to be on our toes with Josh,” Austin said on Wednesday.
“He’s a player that brings a lot of energy to a team, and that’s how I like to play my footy too.
“I’m going to have to match his energy and try and be the spark for our team as he’ll be doing for his.”
While Reynolds is a big in for the Bulldogs, coach Des Hasler will be without Blues quartet Trent Hodkinson, Josh Morris, David Klemmer and Josh Jackson.
And winger Sisa Waqa wants the Raiders to take advantage of it, given they will field a full-strength side.
“It’s going to be a bonus for us this week,” said Waqa, who got used to being in an Origin-depleted outfit while at Melbourne for four seasons.
“Hopefully we perform as a team and come up with a good win.”
Austin will again pair with Mitch Cornish this weekend, with halfback Sam Williams still recovering from a collapsed lung and rib injury suffered in round nine’s win over Gold Coast.
Williams trained with the Raiders on Wednesday, but didn’t do any contact.
“He’s a tough little bugger,” said Austin.
“He’s just itching to be around the boys again.
“I’m not sure … how far away he is (from returning), but at the moment we’ve got every confidence in Mitch.
“(Him and I) have just got to keep improving, keeping leading the team around and I’m sure we’ll be fine this week.”