It hurts the ego being on the outer
Reynolds and Mansour.
ONE player who knows what it feels like to be squeezed out of the club they love is Adam Reynolds’ South Sydney teammate Josh Mansour.
D-Day has arrived in the contract stand-off between Reynolds and the Rabbitohs. A decision on the halfback’s future is expected today.
With salary cap pressures for 2023 and rising playmakers coming through the ranks, the Rabbitohs are only willing to offer Reynolds a one-year extension.
It means Reynolds, who has played 209 games for the Rabbitohs and won a premiership in 2014, could be in different colours next season.
It’s a situation not too dissimilar to what Mansour went through last October at the Panthers.
Only days after Penrith’s grand final loss, coach Ivan Cleary told Mansour that boom winger Charlie Staines would be the preferred option on the edge, which left the veteran searching for a new home after nine years at the club.
“I [sympathise with Adam], he’s been loyal at the club,” Mansour said. “You hope to see it work out. I’m not the only one, I’m sure opposition fans want to see Adam stay at this club. It’s unnerving and it hurts the ego a little bit.
“It would be hard for Adam. He is cult hero here, he grew up in Redfern, which why there is so much attention around it.”
Mansour and Cleary have cleared the air since that fateful conversation and the winger believes, like in his case, there will be a silver lining for Reynolds and now off-contract centre Dane Gagai, who is also preparing to test the market.
“We had a brief chat afterwards,’’ Mansour said. “There was a bit of miscommunication. We have stayed friends, I have no bad feelings towards the club or ill-feelings towards anyone.
“I’m happy to see the boys doing well and I‘m extremely happy here. There is always a silver lining.”
Rising halves Lachlan Ilias and Blake Taaffe, who guided the Rabbitohs to victory in the 2019 Jersey Flegg grand final, are considered long-term playmaking prospects at the club.
“They came through the ranks and won the comp in the under-20s,’’ Mansour said.
“They play really well together, they train really hard. We have little awards in the gym. They are always winning, especially Lachie. He is very strong for a halfback.
“But it’s their work ethic that has really shone through for me early on. They are willing to do anything.
“When we have seen them play they have always done well. It’s just a matter of time before they get their shot. “
It’s expected that veteran playmaker Benji Marshall will partner Reynolds in the halves in the absence of Cody Walker, who has accepted a onegame ban.
Jacob Host is expected to be recalled to replace Keaon Koloamatangi, who has also been suspended.