Reynolds earns new Rabbitohs deal
With his long-term future at South Sydney secure, rookie halfback Adam Reynolds can focus on emulating the 2011 feats of Manly whiz kid Daly Cherry-Evans.
Reynolds was recognised for his outstanding breakout season on Thursday with a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the Rabbitohs until at least the end of 2015.
Cherry-Evans' achievement of taking out last year's Dally M Rookie of the Year award, piloting the Sea Eagles to a premiership and gaining selection for the Kangaroos was a rare feat indeed.
But incredibly, Reynolds has the opportunity to repeat those efforts just 11 months on.
The 22-year-old local junior is as good as certain to win the NRL's rookie of the year award in 2012, but says he's fighting hard to ignore the buzz surrounding his form.
"I'm trying to blank it out. I'm not really worried about it," Reynolds told AAP.
"I'm just worried about playing good footy for the team and getting a good performance on the park every week."
Reynolds is in line for a massive pay increase from the base salary he's currently on, and said he's delighted to be staying at Souths.
"I'm really happy to have had my contract extended at the Rabbitohs," he said.
"It means a lot to me to play for this club.
"I'm a South Sydney junior, I live in the area, I'm bringing up my kids here, and I love the club and everything it stands for.
"I'm really grateful to have been given the chance to play first grade this year and hopefully I can continue to play first grade at the club for many more years to come."
Reynolds will face off against Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney on Saturday night, with both clubs keen to bounce back from last-start losses.
After learning some lessons from Cherry-Evans and the Sea Eagles last Friday night, Reynolds is keen to test himself against Carney - whom he hopes to partner one day in the halves for NSW in State of Origin.
"That would be nice," said Reynolds.
"I'm looking forward to it, he's a half for NSW and definitely a very good player and we're going to have to be on our game to stop him."
Souths coach Michael Maguire has managed Reynolds well this year and described his general as a player with great "promise".
Maguire is now hoping co-captain Michael Crocker will agree to a new deal at Redfern.
"Crock's a big part of what we do and he knows where we stand with him and we're obviously talking to him and he's a big part of us moving forward," Maguire said.
Meanwhile, Maguire confirmed on Thursday that former New Zealand captain Roy Asotasi was likely to make his long-awaited NRL return from injury against the Sharks.