Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says Josh Reynolds has responded well to being left out of the side for the opening game against Manly.
Reynolds only played five games for the joint venture club last season, and Maguire says while he's left the door open for him to return to the side he needs to improve some areas of his game.
The coach said he would have no issue bringing the 29-year-old former Bulldogs player off the bench in the future.
For now the Tigers have named veteran five-eighth Benji Marshall in the halves alongside Luke Brooks.
Maguire said he'd talked to former NSW Origin representative Reynolds about his game, and felt he had a lot of growth left in him.
"I really like his style, he's a real competitor but there's other things I want him to grow. And also along with his body, he's had some issues with his body over the last couple of years and it's going to take some time," he said.
Speaking of the player's reaction to the selection call, Maguire said: "He's a real competitor and he understands where we are at the moment, and things can change very quickly in this game. We know that and he knows that; it's about just preparing himself."
Also left out of the starting 17 for the Seas Eagles clash were Matt Eisenhuth, Jacob Liddle and Chris McQueen.
Maguire said: ""It's about having a competitive squad - one thing about the group though they get around each other and support each other because they understand we've got a full season in front of us and a lot can change in a week in our game."
Wests Tigers are 13/20 to win their first game of the season against Manly, who are 13/10.
The Tigers are 91/100 conceding a 3.5-points start.
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