NRL Rd 5 - Rabbitohs v Broncos
NRL Rd 5 - Rabbitohs v Broncos

Transfer market: Rivals ready to rope in Reynolds

North Queensland powerhouse Jason Taumalolo believes South Sydney's Adam Reynolds can help fill the void left in the Cowboys halves when Johnathan Thurston retired in 2018.

After losing Michael Morgan to a medical retirement and with Jake Clifford off to Newcastle, the Cowboys are on the hunt for a playmaker in 2022 and beyond.

The Cowboys have struggled with game management since Thurston's retirement and Taumalolo believes Reynolds could be an antidote to that problem.

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"Outside looking in, Adam Reynolds is one of the best managing halves in the NRL. I think that is something we have lacked in the last few year obviously with Jono (Thurston) leaving the club," Taumalolo said.

"We have missed someone who has been able to organise everyone else and let the five-eighth do his thing.

"If we do get Adam Reynolds, I think that would be a huge boost for us with the way he can control games with his kicking.

"For such a small guy, he holds his own in defence, too. If we do acquire him, I'm sure it will be a handy pick up for us."

The Cowboys, along with Brisbane, are in the running for Reynolds' signature after the halfback failed to come to an agreed contract extension at the Rabbitohs. Reynolds is seeking a three-year deal but South Sydney have only tabled a one-year offer.

And while Todd Payten has had a rocky start to is career as Cowboys head coach, Taumalolo is confident Reynolds would be joining a harmonious club.

Coach Todd Payten has endured a difficult start with the Cowboys. Picture: Shae Beplate
Coach Todd Payten has endured a difficult start with the Cowboys. Picture: Shae Beplate

Four-straight losses to start the season have only amplified speculation the coach had already fallen foul of senior players at the club.

But Taumalolo, who was singled out by Payten after the Cowboys' round one 24-0 loss to Penrith, told News Corp the rumours were unfounded.

"There's nothing in those rumours," Taumalolo said.

"I think at the end of the day we are a results-driven game and the four losses in a row don't help at all. People from the outside looking in, look at the results and think that there is an issue inside the club, but I can personally say that everything is sweet among senior players and Toddy.

"Toddy loves being upfront and being honest and he knows that we can be the same with him, too. I think we have a great relationship with him."

North Queensland's 34-30 win against Wests Tigers, the club's first for the season, will provide Payten some with some respite, but it has come at a cost.

Jason Taumalolo has squashed rumours of a rift between Payten and senior Cowboys players. Picture: Getty Images
Jason Taumalolo has squashed rumours of a rift between Payten and senior Cowboys players. Picture: Getty Images

While Taumalolo is "confident" he'll take the field for the first time since round one after suffering a broken hand during training, the Cowboys could be without Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow for Sunday's clash against Canterbury.

Tabuai-Fidow, who scored two tries last Sunday, could be facing an extended period on the sideline with an ankle injury.

"He'll get scans in Townsville, hopefully it's not too serious, but at the moment it looks like it could be some ankle ligament damage," Taumalolo said.

"It'll definitely slow down Hammer a bit, he'll be at my sprinting pace after the ankle injury.

"We all saw what he is capable of and his speed and how he can find the tryline with his natural playing ability."

Taumalolo was in Sydney as part of his role as a Kayo Sports ambassador to announce a string of new competitions to be shown as Kayo freebies on their streaming service.

Originally published as Transfer market: Rivals ready to rope in Reynolds



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