Brisbane Broncos captain Adam Reynolds have given an insight into the ongoing positional battles taking place during pre-season, as well as the late-season collapse that saw the Red Hill club surrender their own finals destiny in a disappointing end.
The star playmaker also revealed how the club is already revising their approach in hopes of avoiding a similar fate in 2023, while refuting claims that attitude issues were to blame.
“I think it's an easy thing to say when you're losing games, to blame it on attitude,” Reynolds told the Daily Telegraph.
“For us, it's just about getting the most out of our pre-season. Obviously we've got some new players and we're trying to create combinations where we can get better across the board.
“We're a bit more ahead of where we were last year at this stage, so it's a step in the right direction.”
The halfback also weighed in on the race for the Broncos' No.1 jersey, which at this stage still appears to be a race between new recruit Reece Walsh and Herbie Farnworth – with a clear early favourite in Reynolds' eyes.
“(Walsh) is pretty good out the back,” Reynolds said.
“We've had a couple of sessions already and things are moving pretty nicely.
“It's just about continually working on our relationship both on and off the field, making sure we have the chemistry so we can click when it counts.”
While Farnworth has openly expressed his desire to wear the No.1 jersey, Reynolds is less convinced that it's where the Englishman can be best utilised.
“We just have to find out what works best for us as a club,” Reynolds continued.
“(Farnworth) has played in the centres for England at the World Cup and he had a terrific World Cup.
“He definitely showed what he's capable of and that was coming back after a pretty significant injury. We just have to get him on board and fit and healthy again.
“We're all fighting (for places) and it's only going to make us a better team.”
It's a similar struggle in the five-eighth role, with Ezra Mam now facing competition from former Tiger Jock Madden for the starting role. Reynolds, though, believes Mam has earned first crack at the role after making it his own in 2022.
“I think (Mam) showed enough with what he did last (season). He came in under a lot of pressure and handled it better than most.
“He's still a young fella but he's tough. He's only going to get better throughout the pre-season.”