Josh Reynolds: Hull FC signing settles into new life ahead of Super League stint
New Hull FC signing Josh Reynolds on settling into life in East Yorkshire, his 'Grub' nickname, biggest influences and how he is hoping to help the younger members of the squad in Super League this year
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 31/01/21 7:00am
Josh Reynolds used to live in an apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour. Now, though, the view from his home is that of the Queen's Gardens in Hull city centre.
It was the start of December when the 31-year-old decided to bid farewell to the NRL and his home in Australia after signing a two-year contract with the option of a third at Hull FC, arriving to begin his new life in East Yorkshire just over a month ago.
Adjusting to new surroundings is just one of the challenges Reynolds faces, but the help of his new Black and Whites team-mates and club staff have ensured he has settled in quickly as he prepares for his maiden Super League campaign.
"It's a little bit different, but it's good," Reynolds said. "Minus the lockdown, I'm enjoying it.
"It's obviously a different experience from back home, but it's a challenge and probably the most I've been challenged in a pre-season, to be completely honest.
"It's not that the training is harder than back home, but it's the conditions, the pitch and just adapting to new things on and off the field. It's a good little challenge in itself."
Reynolds arrives at the KCOM Stadium following three seasons with Wests, having made his name in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs where he played from 2011 to 2017. During that time, he helped them reach two Grand Finals and remains a fans' favourite among the Bulldogs' faithful.
The stand-off now hopes his experience will benefit Hull's younger players in the same way former Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis, now a pundit on Fox Sports in Australia, helped him make the step up to first-grade rugby.
"I was playing with the likes of Mick Ennis, who was really big for me," Reynolds said. "The way he played and the way I played was a tad similar - not in skill, but the little things.
"He always made me back myself and that's one thing I think helped me a lot. You always have self-doubt, especially when you're young and being in the halves, but he was always good for a chat.
"He made sure I knew what I did well, and always reminded me of those things and helped me out a lot."
Hooker Ennis was noted as a player who got under the skin of both opponents and referees which saw him earn the nickname 'Ennis the Menace', and Reynolds has attracted a similar reputation during his career.
That has seen him tagged with the moniker of 'Grub' - a nickname he has told his new Hull team-mates he does not mind them using - although the man himself insists he has toned down that side of his game given the responsibility placed on him at stand-off.
"I've grown as a player," Reynolds said. "A lot of the time when I was younger, I'd get caught up in all of that and it would take me away from what I needed to do as a player.
"In saying that, the competitive side does come out of me sometimes and sometimes I will get myself into little altercations, but in saying that I feel I have grown out of it as a player.
The competitive side does come out of me sometimes and sometimes I will get myself into little altercations, but in saying that I feel I have grown out of it as a player.
"As a half, you've got to keep a cool head because you're the one the guys are looking towards for direction. If I'm too worried about doing that silly stuff my head is not in the right spot."
Reynolds' main focus at the moment is getting used to the unfamiliar playing conditions of the English winter as well as working on his new half-back partnership with Marc Sneyd, with under eight weeks to go until the 2021 Super League season is due to start.
He has been impressed with some of the young players around the first-team set-up too, not least of all fellow half-back Ben McNamara, and believes it is important he does what he can to ensure they are ready when called upon this year.
"A lot of the young boys are probably only one step away [from starting] and I suppose as a squad you all want to be on the same page because if someone goes down, they'll be filling the void," Reynolds said.
"I think we've got a really good squad to do that and a lot of our young guys are really keen to learn. I'm still keen to learn too and I'm learning a lot off our coaches and other players in our team.
"That's one good thing about our squad, no-one thinks they have got it and everyone is willing to learn, and I think that's the best way to get better."