HE’S one of the most exciting young players in rugby league and he’s thrilled to be joining Stadium Australia’s team of elite sporting ambassadors in the countdown to a spectacular NRL opening weekend triple-header at Sydney Olympic Park.
For Josh Reynolds, 24, the relationship seems a natural fit. “I’ve played all of my major games at Stadium Australia – it’s the Bulldogs’ home ground – and I’ve watched some of the nation’s biggest sporting events at the stadium over the years,” said the Bulldogs’ livewire five-eighth.
”I’ll never forget that Preliminary Final of 2012 between the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs, with one half of the stadium blue and white and the other half red and green, and of course I played in my first NRL Grand Final the following week.
“I also played my first Origin here, although I didn’t actually play, I sat on the bench and had the best seat in the house. Hopefully I’ll have many more big games here.”
Reynolds joins Rabbitohs rugby league superstar Greg Inglis, rugby’s hottest talent Israel Folau, Sydney Swans co-captain Kieren Jack, Australian cricket’s most exciting player Dave Warner and the third most capped player in Socceroos history, Brett Emerton, as Stadium Australia sporting ambassadors.
“It’s a real honour to be among this group and I’m excited to be working with such a great organisation,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds will be out on the Stadium Australia arena as soon as this Friday night when the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – the longest-standing tenants of the five NRL clubs that will call Stadium Australia home in 2014 – host the Brisbane Broncos in Round 1 of the NRL.
The Bulldogs v Broncos game will follow the Thursday night pipe-opener at Stadium Australia between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters, while the St George Illawarra Dragons will meet Wests Tigers at the stadium on Sunday afternoon.
About 100,000 fans are expected across the opening weekend triple-header at Stadium Australia.
Stadium Australia Managing Director Daryl Kerry said he was delighted to welcome Reynolds to the stadium’s ambassador program. “Our sporting ambassadors play an important role for us by representing the Stadium in the community and particularly in relation to the extensive charity work we do.
“Among our charities are The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and disability service povider Northcott, and I know Josh is looking forward to being involved in that side of our business.
“Our ambassadors also engage regularly with our Stadium Australia Members and corporate guests. So we’re really excited to have Josh on board, joining an extraordinary group of athletes.”
Bulldogs CEL Raelene Castle, said of Reynolds’ appointment: “Josh plays an important role for us both on the field and in the community. He was in the State of Origin squad last year, he got his shoulder fixed in the pre-season so he’s as fit as he has ever been for an NRL season with no injuries. He’s really well placed to have a great year and I know he’s jumping out of his skin.”
Reynolds has played 60 games for the Bulldogs after making his debut in 2011. The previous year he was NSW Cup Player of the Year and led the Bulldogs to a Grand Final win over the Windsor Wolves by scoring a try and kicking four goals for a personal tally of 16 points.
Last year he was included in the NSW Blues State of Origin squad for Game I at Stadium Australia and retained his spot for Game II in Brisbane. Coach Laurie Daley included Reynolds in the Blues’ elite squad of players who joined a pre-season camp at Stadium Australia in January this year.