AAP Rugby

Tigers’ Reynolds looks on NRL bright side

By AAP Newswire

After a luckless 17 months in which he has played just nine NRL games, Josh Reynolds expects his horrid injury run to extend his rugby league career.

As he prepares to return to the NRL ranks for the first time in nearly four months on Saturday, Reynolds is looking on the bright side of life.

The former NSW State of Origin series winner came to Wests Tigers at the start of 2018 on a much-vaunted deal worth a reported $750,000 a year and intent on turning the club around.

However he has spent a majority of the last year-and-a-half in the rehab ward and reserve grade.

A hamstring problem on the eve of last year's season delayed his Tigers debut before a shoulder surgery cut short his campaign.

And when he returned to first-grade in round four this year, he lasted just four games before a medial ligament strain again put him on the sidelines again.

"In my first six years, I never set foot in the physio room once, now I'm in there every day," Reynolds said.

"I had thoughts that my body was never going to get back to what it was.

"I sat down and looked at the top 10 players over the last 10 years and what injuries they've had. No matter who it is they've always had a couple of big injuries, this has just been my period.

"People say 'Oh, he's getting older and this and that'. But funnily enough I reckon it could prolong my career - I feel really good."

Reynolds has made six appearances in NSW Cup this year after finding himself stuck behind Benji Marshall.

With Marshall expected to play on next year, the Tigers have given Reynolds permission to look elsewhere for the remaining two years of his deal.

He gets a chance against Newcastle on Saturday in the unfamiliar position of dummy-half with Robbie Farah (broken leg) and Jacob Liddle (injured) out.

Reynolds admitted his stint in reserve grade had wounded his ego but said it had also made him appreciate the opportunities he'd had during his career.

"It's tough - I'm not going to lie, it's been a tough one," Reynolds said.

"But on the other hand I sit there back there, I'm playing with guys who are still chasing the dream. It honestly shows you how lucky you are.

"It puts perspective back in my life. These guys are working eight hours and then come to training. And then we just train and turn up to the games.

"We have the best life ever. In that sense it's been good for me."