Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire says he's looking forward to the return of Josh Reynolds as his side look to bounce back against the Newcastle Knights on Saturday.
Still right in the finals race despite consecutive defeats in the past fortnight, Maguire said his side have enjoyed the longer turnaround for this week's game as they prepare for a crucial clash in front of their home fans at Campbelltown.
"We want to make sure we perform for our fans," Maguire enthused.
"We've had some tough times but it's a great opportunity for our team and playing group to get here and put a good performance on for them.
"We've had a bit of a longer turnaround [since the Manly game] and it's allowed us to be thorough in our preparation this week. We've had a good preparation and I'm looking forward to seeing it in action tomorrow night.
"We've got to make sure we build pressure against the opposition.
"That's what every other team is doing and if we do that well, then we should be really able to perform at a high level on Saturday."
Reynolds excited to be back in NRL
The return of Reynolds will offset the loss of Robbie Farah and Jacob Liddle in the hooking role on Saturday with the experienced playmaker returning to the first-grade since for the first time since a Round 7 win over the Gold Coast Titans.
For Maguire — while bitterly disappointed for Liddle after last week's season-ending injury— there was no hiding the excitement to see Reynolds back in the side
"He's got a big smile on his face," Maguire said of the live-wire playmaker.
"His professionalism throughout this period has been great.
"Getting his body right has been the challenge to this point and I'm really looking forward to seeing Grubby get back in to that jersey and playing footy again.
"We've had a good week and that's allowed us to be really thorough in our prep around him moving to hooker and the spine as a whole.
"The boys will get behind him and make sure we're getting our plays right, but also look after him defensively. We all know what he'll bring — that's his energy — and he'll do everything possible to win those little battles."
Wests Tigers scored a crucial 28-26 win when the two sides met just four weeks ago in Newcastle and will be looking to make it three wins in a row against the Knights, having lost just one of the last five meetings between the two sides.
The hosts also hold a good record over the Knights at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, who have won just twice at the suburban ground since 2001.
Match: Wests Tigers v Knights
Round 23 -
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
- LIVE PASS