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Frawley looms as key to Reynolds' new deal

NZN 19/04/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Late-blooming rookie Matt Frawley looms as a key factor in Josh Reynolds' search for a contract extension following his surprise NRL emergence for Canterbury.

After a slow start to the year, Reynolds' rich vein of form has correlated with a three-game winning streak that has breathed life into the Bulldogs' premiership tilt.

It has also coincided with the injection of 22-year-old Frawley, who has added a new dimension to what is now a three-pronged Bulldogs attack in the halves.

Star fullback Brett Morris said Frawley has proven an excellent foil for Reynolds at a time when the local product is deep in negotiations for a new deal.

"We know what Josh is like. He tends to play a bit off the cuff sometimes and when Josh is playing his best footy, that's usually what he's doing," Morris said of Reynolds' recent form.

"With Frawls coming on there at certain stages in the game, it helps Josh because Frawls can step up, control the game and Josh can play his natural game, which has been good for him."

Coach Des Hasler on Tuesday named Frawley on an extended bench for the third straight week but the Canberra junior is all but certain to be included in the final 17.

He could also force his way into the starting line-up, pushing first-choice halfback Moses Mbye - who last year signed a long-term deal at the club - to hooker or the bench.

"That's up to the coaching staff and what they see best for the team," Morris said.

"We all know that we're in a professional sport here. It's results-driven and at certain times you might not like what's happening but if it's best for the team, that's what you'll do."

Morris also likened the recent line-up change to the 2014 and 2015 seasons, when former playmaker Trent Hodkinson was rotated with Reynolds and Mbye.

The trio led the Bulldogs to their most recent grand final appearance in 2014 but Mbye was forced to play hooker in the decider after Michael Ennis was ruled out through injury.

"(Reynolds and Mbye) have been at the club for a long time. For them it's about... you've got to play good footy week in, week out," Morris said.

"We saw a similar thing happen a couple of years ago when Moses was coming through with Trent and Josh. It brings out the best in footballers."

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