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Veteran league reporter Phil Rothfield says the latest injury blow for Broncos star Adam Reynolds has justified the Rabbitohs' controversial decision to let the halfback go at the end of last season.
Reynolds has been ruled out of this weekend's blockbuster showdown against the Storm in Melbourne, after picking up a rib injury in the gutsy round 14 win over the Raiders.
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The classy playmaker has been a revelation for the Broncos in 2022, playing an instrumental role in the resurgence of Kevin Walters' side, which sits fourth on the NRL ladder after a seven-game winning streak.
The 31-year-old has made many question the Rabbitohs' decision to only offer the star half a one-year deal in a move that ultimately saw him move north to the Broncos, on a three-year contract.
However, Reynolds has battled a number of injuries so far this season, with his latest set to sideline the half for the trip to Melbourne.
Speaking on NRL 360, Rothfield suggested that the Broncos took a big risk by offering a three-year deal to Reynolds, after questioning whether his body could hold up over that period of time.
“I think Souths' call (to let Reynolds go) is almost justified,” he said.
"You saw the vision of him limping off (against Canberra) and he looked totally broken.
“This is a three year deal at Brisbane. But the signs aren’t encouraging that he will be fit for the third year.”
NRL 360 co-host Braith Anasta admitted that Reynolds' injury record could be seen as a concern, but insisted that his influence on the Broncos extends beyond the footy field.
"The impact he has had on the young guys, the leadership he has brought, that winning culture and you know he has been worth the money whether he plays every game or not,” Anasta said.
“Although it does kind of justify Souths, over the three years he has already missed a number of games this year.”
Fellow co-host Paul Kent argued that the transformative effect Reynolds has had on the Broncos since his arrival - coupled with the drop-off from the Rabbitohs - proves Brisbane were right to go hard for the star playmaker.
“Souths are noticeably missing him, and his benefit of being at the Broncos right now is through the week he helps with the game plan,” Kent said.
“He puts that together for them, not all of it, but he contributes significantly as far as their thinking, their planning for each week’s games.
“That is something that Souths, for whatever reason, are lacking at the moment, so you could argue over time it might prove the right decision, but I think right now if Souths had the opportunity they’d have him back.
Tyrone Roberts to fill hole left by Adam Reynolds
Reynolds' absence against the Storm means Tyrone Roberts will get the chance to play as an NRL half for the first time since Covid-19 stopped the league.
Brisbane remain confident Reynolds' injury is nothing major, but will take a cautious approach on their marquee man.
"Renno is just unlucky the poor fella," Corey Oates told reporters.
"He's all right, I don't think it's a real serious one, if he has a week off he can heal and be a lot better for it.
"I think they said he could play on with it ... would you rather him re-injure and be out for eight weeks or have the rest and heal up?"
Roberts came off the bench for just eight minutes for Brisbane in round one, after not playing in the NRL at all in 2021.
Before that, his most recent start in the halves came in round two of 2020 for Gold Coast, with the Titans loss to Parramatta the last game before the NRL's unprecedented two-month shutdown.
"He's been a class player for a long time, he's done great in the training session just then," Oates said.
"We've got a massive job on our hands against Melbourne, they're going to be hard to beat but we've just got to do our jobs."
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