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Canterbury star Reynolds to join Tigers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017 Matt Encarnacion and Warren Barnsley

Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks has welcomed the likely signing of Josh Reynolds, saying their new halves partnership would make him a better player.

Canterbury favourite Reynolds is understood to be leaving Belmore at the end of the season after agreeing a multi-million dollar four-year NRL deal to be a major piece in the Tigers' rebuild under coach Ivan Cleary.

The former NSW State of Origin playmaker is believed to have informed Bulldogs teammates of his end-of-season departure before training on Wednesday morning.

The Tigers have denied a contract had been signed, but Brooks warmed to the idea on Wednesday.

"I don't think he's signed yet. We haven't heard anything," Brooks said.

"That's just speculation at the moment but, if he does come, he'd be good for the team.

"He's played Origin so he's got a lot of experience.

"If he does come, I'll look forward to playing with him.

"He'll bring a lot of energy and I think he'll be good for my game."

Since Cleary's appointment three weeks ago, the Tigers have moved rapidly to fill the gaps left by three of their so-called 'big four'.

Mitchell Moses is poised to sign with Parramatta, captain Aaron Woods is tipped to join the Bulldogs and fullback James Tedesco is believed to be headed to Sydney Roosters.

The Reynolds news comes just hours after the Tigers announced they had signed New Zealand international prop Ben Matulino from the Warriors.

Former Queensland State of Origin forward Chris McQueen has penned a three-year deal with the Tigers who confirmed the signing a fortnight ago, while David Nofoaluma and Michael Chee Kam have recently signed contract extensions.

Reynolds, who has played all seven seasons of his NRL career at the Bulldogs, said last month the thought of leaving the club made him feel sick in the stomach.

But Canterbury are under salary cap pressure after their big-money plays for decorated stars Woods and New Zealand international Kieran Foran.

"Honestly, it is hard for me to think that," Reynolds said.

"It makes me a bit sick in the stomach.

"I love the club (Canterbury), let's be honest. I was born there."

The Bulldogs' pursuit of Woods had put pressure on Aiden Tolman's place at the club, but the veteran prop is confident of seeing out his contract in 2018.

Tolman concedes it would be a blow for the club to lose effervescent five-eighth Reynolds.

"He's huge to our club. He basically epitomised what the Bulldogs are about," Tolman said

"If he was to go, he'd be a huge loss.

"But we would respect his decision either way. We'd obviously love to keep him here and whatever his decision is, we'd respect it.

"He's got to look after himself, his family and his football as well."

Intent on restoring a tough edge at the club, the Tigers are chasing prop Russell Packer, and his St George Illawarra teammate Josh Dugan.

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