Wally Lewis' message to Panthers amid Adam Reynolds re-signing at Broncos

The club legend has sent a warning to the champs ahead of the 2024 season.

Wally Lewis in commentary and Adam Reynolds talks to the fans.
Broncos legend Wally Lewis (pictured left) has showered Adam Reynolds (pictured right) with praise and sent a warning to the Panthers over the momentum building at the Broncos. (Getty Images)

Broncos legend Wally Lewis has sent a warning to the Penrith Panthers after Adam Reynolds signed a contract extension with the club in a huge move ahead of the season. Whether or not the Broncos should extend the 33-year-old's NRL contract into the 2025 season has been a talking point for fans in recent months.

Reynolds helped steer the Broncos to the NRL final, but the team fell short in a thriller against the Panthers. The halfback was brilliant all season as he helped mould a young team to become genuine title contenders for years to come.

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Many NRL fans felt the club was pushing its salary cap to extend the veteran's deal till the end of 2025. Although Maroons and Brisbane Broncos icon Lewis has showered Reynolds with praise after the deal was announced on Monday.

Lewis claimed the deal will only help motivate Reynolds heading into the 2024 season as the Broncos look to break the Panthers' stranglehold on the competition. "He is a key player, Reynolds," Lewis told AAP. "It was vital that they kept him because his leadership inspires the younger kids in the team.

"By staying on he has also dangled a carrot in front of himself so that he can go one better and get over last year's grand final loss (to Penrith)." And Lewis singled out his ability to command a match and march his team around the field as one of the greatest weapons for the No.7.

"I've watched him closely at training and in games where I look and listen for guys who communicate. You can hear Reynolds all the time," Lewis added. "You can be sitting on the edge of the sideline at a match and you hear him. At training he is constantly communicating and that is one of the strongest points of a player's game. It is just priceless and inspires others to perform. It probably inspires the guy doing the talking as well."

Adam Reynolds compared to Alfie Langer

The biggest praise Lewis could hand Reynolds was the comparison to the much-loved Broncos legend - and current assistant coach - Alfie Langer. Lewis said his game reminds him of Langer and he will only get better under the tutelage of the assistant coach.

"l loved playing with Alf and when he got the role as captain of the Broncos he was a fantastic talker. He used to engage in a pile of discussion on the field. That was invaluable to the team's success," Lewis said. "Reynolds is similar in that regard. He is at the back-end of his career and that area of his game just increases and increases. Reynolds has Alf there (as assistant coach) and I am sure that is a bonus if he needs anything. In his own game he is just showing plenty of confidence."

Adam Reynolds passes the ball.
Adam Reynolds (pictured) has resigned with the Brisbane Broncos. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

One player Lewis believes Reynolds can greatly influence before his time is up at the Broncos is young five-eighth Ezra Mam. The 21-year-old enjoyed a stellar 2023 season in the No.6 jersey for the Broncos as he grows into his new role for the club alongside the veteran halfback.

Mam recently resigned on a long-term deal to keep him at the club and Lewis believes keeping Reynolds around him for the next couple of seasons will set up him for the future. "Ezra is only going to learn more and more playing outside an experienced campaigner like Reynolds," Lewis said. The Broncos will take on the Roosters in the inaugural opening round of the NRL in the US this weekend, alongside the clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Rabbitohs.

with AAP

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