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Robert Jennings

Robert Jennings jokes he felt like a thief in the night taking full advantage of South Sydney's offer to train in the summer before settling his future at the Wests Tigers two weeks before the competition kicked off.

The unusual circumstances for Jennings began in November when the Penrith junior was unable to strike up a new deal at Redfern despite finishing the year as their leading try scorer.

Jennings was left in the lurch up until mid-February, where he was able to secure a deal at the Wests Tigers and reunite with former Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire.

"I got free training gear so that was a good thing," Jennings told, laughing when asked what he got out of the Rabbitohs' pre-season before his departure.

"I didn't give any of it back either, that was all I got out of it and obviously I could keep my fitness levels up. It was great of them to allow me to stay with them as long as I could.

"It was a bit stressful not knowing what you were doing but my number one focus the whole time was about getting my body right regardless of where I was playing.

"I had to be ready to walk into a side."

Maguire excited for 'changed' Reynolds return

For some players, the task of joining a side so late into the season's preparations could mean they immediately fall behind but Maguire didn't muck around putting Jennings into the centres, a position he played under the premiership-winning coach during their time together at the Bunnies in 2017.

"I was familiar with what he was doing, that's why it's been so easy for me to fit in and feel comfortable," Jennings said.

"It's all similar, a few of the boys play their different styles which changes things but that's the difference about teams, that individual skill outside a structure.

"I've still got more to work on having not had a lot of time but I'm feeling comfortable."

He will be the second Jennings sibling to return to his grassroots on Friday night chasing a win against his former club following Michael's success against Penrith in round one playing for the Eels.

Robert made his NRL debut under Ivan Cleary at the Panthers in 2015 alongside the likes of Waqa Blake, Josh Mansour and Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

"I'm excited to get back in front of the locals and people I grew up around and against boys I played with," Jennings said.

"We've just got to complete, we weren't executing and had silly errors against the Dogs. I think after the loss the boys want to get out as quickly as possible and redeem themselves."

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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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