The Courier-Mail

Reynolds can be our JT

- FATIMA KDOUH

NORTH Queensland powerhouse Jason Taumalolo believes South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds can help fill the void left in the Cowboys halves since 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 the answer.

“Adam Reynolds is one of the best managing halves in the NRL. I think that is something we have lacked in the last few years obviously with Johnno (Thurston) leaving the club,” Taumalolo said.

“We have missed someone who has been able to organise everyone else and let the fiveeighth 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.”

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.

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

Four losses to start the season amplified speculatio­n the coach had fallen foul of senior players at the club.

But Taumalolo, who was singled out by Payten after the Cowboys’ Round 1 loss to Penrith, said “there’s nothing in those rumours”.

“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 give Payten some respite but it has come at a cost.

While Taumalolo is “confident” he’ll play for the first time since Round 1 after breaking his hand, the Cowboys could be without Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (ankle) for Sunday’s clash against Canterbury.

Taumalolo was in Sydney yesterday as part of his role as a Kayo Sports ambassador to announce a string of new competitio­ns.

 ??  ?? Cowboys star and Kayo ambassador Jason Taumalolo.
Cowboys star and Kayo ambassador Jason Taumalolo.

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