Josh Reynolds knows Sunday’s City-Country clash is a huge opportunity to stake a claim for the NSW five-eighth spot.
Josh Reynolds had a small taste of State of Origin action last year and would love to experience the same sense of intense hatred from Queensland fans again.
The 25-year-old Canterbury star gets the chance to put his hand up for selection for Laurie Daley’s NSW Origin team for game one on May 28 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium when he plays in Sunday’s City-Country clash in Dubbo.
He’s keenly aware the door is open for someone to claims the Blues five-eighth spot, with the selection further clouded by injuries which have cast doubt over incumbent James Maloney and previous choice Todd Carney.
“Jarrod Mullen will be in the same boat as me playing for Country so this is a game where both of us will be doing our best to make a case for Origin,” said Reynolds, who noted John Sutton must also be well in the frame.
Reynolds suffered the ignominy of sitting unused on the bench for the full 80 minutes in NSW’s win in the 2013 series opener in Sydney and played for just over 10 minutes in the game two defeat at Brisbane before being overlooked for the decider.
Reynolds said on Monday respect shown to him by Daley after game one made the decision not to use him easier to take.
“I obviously had a good seat, the best in the house,” he said.
“To be honest I went through a few emotions. I was happy the boys won but disappointed because I wasn’t needed.
“But you have to just get on with it. I didn’t want to kick stones and show everybody I was filthy or upset because I wasn’t.
“But Laurie was great with me and that is why I have so much respect for him.
“He told me I would play in Brisbane and he was true to his word and showed his true colours.”
Off-season shoulder surgery has helped Reynolds start the season pain-free for the first time in two years.
Now he’s hoping to channel the memories of the hostility from the Queensland crowd at Suncorp Stadium if he gets the opportunity to help turn around the Blues’ fortunes after eight straight series losses.
“It was very daunting, I am not going to lie, it was my first game and I just wanted to get out there,” he said.
“There are just thousands of Queenslanders having so much hatred for you. It’s a good experience. I’ll never forget it.
“The only abuse I have experienced like that was on Twitter after a loss.”