Reynolds to close out Souths' NRL chapter

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South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds knows as much as a fairytale finish to his Rabbitohs career in Sunday's NRL grand final will mean to him, in the club's long history it's just another paragraph.

Reynolds was given a crash course in that history within the game when, as a 10-year-old boy, he witnessed the club's battle for survival two decades ago.

He remembers the marches on Sydney Town Hall led by George Piggins, as the foundation club attempted to force the competition to reinstate them.

It's a movement Reynolds says emphasises there's far more to the Rabbitohs story heading into Sunday's match than his own.

"It was devastating times there and a lot of people lost a lot of respect for rugby league obviously having their team kicked out," Reynolds told AAP.

"It was great seeing not only Souths' fans march but every teams' colours march for Souths.

"It's just what it means, rugby league, as a supporter.

"It adds to the history of the club. The club's built on hard work and it sums up that era perfectly.

"They worked extremely hard to get back into the competition and to where we are today."

Souths' return in 2002 allowed Reynolds to become part of the club's long history.

Since debuting in 2012, Reynolds has gone on to make 230 NRL appearances for the Rabbitohs.

His career has already featured premiership success - in 2014 - and earlier this season he became the club's all-time point-scoring record holder, eclipsing the mark of Souths legend Eric Simms that had endured for 46 seasons.

In an ideal world, Reynolds would not need a premiership farewell - he'd simply remain at Souths until his playing career was done.

The realities of the Rabbitohs' salary cap situation means Reynolds is however Brisbane-bound next year.

It wasn't the outcome coach Wayne Bennett wanted for Reynolds, but he also feels it has played a role in Souths' push to the grand final.

"It was a hard decision that was made this year, and it's worked out great because he has handled it wonderfully," the veteran coach said.

Teammate Damien Cook said confirmation 2021 would be Reynolds' last season at Redfern sparked something in the halfback.

"You can see that fire in his eyes when it all settled down and he realised he was moving on," Cook said.

"He knew he wanted to make sure he left this club in a great position. Which he will do."

That position, with Souths now perennial finalists among the leading clubs in the competition, is about as far removed from the Rabbitohs of 20 years ago as Reynolds dared to dream.

He says the principles that have transformed the club from strugglers to heavyweights - hard work, application and teamwork - are the same that have taken him from young fan to potential premiership captain.

"You always dreamed of it," Reynolds said about Souths going from exiles to NRL grand finalists.

"I wasn't thinking about that back in the day, you'd be turning up to games and just hoping we'd get a win.

"I'd always been proud of the players and the efforts they put in but as you get a bit older and you get into that spot, all you want to do is do your best.

"You want to win games and you want to be successful, that's all I've done throughout my career.

"Just do the best by my teammates and coaches. Hopefully it leads to winning and having successful seasons."

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