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Tyrone Phillips has a poster of Adam Reynolds in his room.
There is every chance the South Sydney halfback, one of nine people living with Phillips in the same house, hung it there.
“I can’t go a day without seeing his face,” Phillips said. “I’ve got a poster of him above my bed I see every time I go to sleep.
“He’s been seeing my cousin for about four years now. He decided to move in upstairs, and it’s gone from there. They squeezed in with my family.”
Their Chifley home is overflowing. There are Reynolds, his partner and their two children. Then there’s Phillips’ nan and pop and his two cousins. Hopefully they will all be there to see the former Rabbitoh pull on a blue jersey at Sportingbet Stadium when NSW host the Maroons in an under-20s (NYC) State of Origin encounter on Saturday.
“It’s a pathway to success and hopefully one day put on the big jersey,” he said.
Phillips is yet to play an NRL game but already has been in the headlines. Last November, as he was making the transition from Redfern to new club Canterbury, he and former Souths teammate Dylan Waker were charged with affray following a street brawl in Beverley Hills. The matter is still before the courts.
“I was just minding my own business when it all broke out,” Phillips said. “I couldn’t do much about it, I helped my best mate, like any man would, to try to get him out of that situation. I was caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Obviously being a sports player and football player it went the wrong way. I’ve just got to learn with it, move forward and let the court decide what’s right and wrong. The Dogs were really good about it. I got in trouble for a day or so, I had to go home and think about what I’d done and what I need to do to improve.”
The move to Bulldogs is also a chance for Phillips to press for the No.1 jersey that belonged to Ben Barba before his move north. The back-line utility has a point to prove after his own move after leaving Souths. “It was my decision, I had one more year on my contract but I decided to leave at the end of the day,” he said.
“When Madge [Souths coach Michael Maguire] found out … he said ‘I want you to prove me wrong and show me the player you truly are.’ You could say I wasn’t happy at Souths. I wasn’t in the best form and was sliding a bit downhill. The opportunity came and I decided to take it.
“Des [Hasler] showed me around and said ‘I want you to be a part of my culture and be on board’. I thought why not?”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.