Kevin Walters has hailed Adam Reynolds as a prized playmaking signing to rebuild around as Storm and Queensland Origin centre Brenko Lee prepares to join him at Red Hill next year.
Reynolds's three-year, $2 million-plus Broncos deal was confirmed on Thursday after the 2014 premiership winner had knocked back a similar three-year offer from Cronulla.
The 30-year-old halfback will join Brisbane next season until the end of 2024, after being pursued hard by the rebuilding Broncos, who are also in the final throes of luring Lee north after reviving his career at Melbourne.
Lee is understood to be close to sign-off on a two-year deal with Brisbane next season, travelling in the opposite direction as Storm-bound star and Maroons teammate Xavier Coates.
Ongoing hamstring issues have kept Lee out of NRL action this season after playing a key part in Melbourne's 2020 title win, making the most of a bargain basement lifeline and rising to Origin honours in the process.
While neither the Broncos or Storm have made comment on Lee's future, Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly reiterated that South Sydney's tight salary cap beyond this year prevented anything more than a one-year extension being tabled to Reynolds.
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Recently re-signed young gun Kotoni Staggs has been mooted for a shift to five-eighth to partner the Redfern junior next year, with Anthony Milford facing a significant pay cut on his next NRL deal as the Titans weigh up a play for him.
As reported by NRL.com earlier this week, Brisbane have expressed interest in Storm utility Nicho Hynes while Queensland Origin back-rower/centre Kurt Capewell has also been pursued about a return north of the border from Penrith for several months.
Walters said on Thursday he had never feared the Broncos losing their lustre as a destination club, with Reynolds's knockback of the Sharks landing Brisbane the first marquee halfback recruit in their 33-year history.
"It's wonderful news for the club. The club hasn't had a playmaker of [Reynolds] class and ability for some time, since Ben Hunt was here, so it's great news," Walters said.
"We do have a plan around our roster and we'll get to that as the weeks unfold.
"I know how big our club is and how powerful our club can be. But we need to get back to [being] a winning club with that winning formula.
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"And that's what this season and every season is about for the Broncos, getting them back where they belong."
Reynolds signature ranks as a sorely needed boost for Walters' rebuild of the club after the losses of highly-touted products Xavier Coates (Storm – 2022), Reece Walsh (Warriors), Tom Dearden (Cowboys – 2022) and David Fifita (Titans).
Given Allan Langer, Wally Lewis and Walters and Darren Lockyer all reigned supreme over the first three decades as Brisbane's chief playmakers, the club has rarely gone to market in search of an elite halfback in its history.
But following the new lows plumbed in last year's wooden spoon campaign and an unprecedented roster overhaul, Reynolds was targeted as a signing priority last month.
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Walters dismissed concern around signing Reynolds to a long-term deal despite both the Broncos and Sharks refusing to up their terms to a four-year commitment.
Reynolds turns 31 in July and will be 34 by the time his contract expires in 2024.
"We’ve had a good look at his mind and his body," Walters said.
"He is in good shape, he looks after himself, there are no problems with that whatsoever.
"He's a good family man with great values. He's the type of player that really fits the mould of who we're looking for at our club.
"He just brings a lot of experience, a lot of composure in situations, his general kicking game, his passing game, he's a typical great halfback. We're looking forward to welcoming him but that's next year. We'll get to that."
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Reynolds will wrap up a 10-year career in cardinal and myrtle in 2021 having helped deliver that historic premiership seven years ago.
The 30-year-old vowed to do everything in his power to depart with another title in what will also be coach Wayne Bennett's final year at Redfern.
"I’m glad my contract is now sorted and everyone can move on," Reynolds said in a South Sydney statement.
"I completely understand Souths’ position with the salary cap and the club understands that I’ve made a decision for my family and our future.
"The club will always hold a special place in my heart. We have achieved a lot over the past ten years but we have more to achieve this year.
"I can assure everyone that my sole focus is on helping us win another premiership this year."