RUGBY LEAGUE: When you've got the incumbent NSW Origin hooker on your roster, it's naturally assumed they'd be starting at club level.
But according to South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds, that might not be the case at the Rabbitohs, with new recruit Robbie Farah no certainty to be in the run-on side in round one.
Farah is the club's big off-season gain having joined the cardinal and myrtle on a two-year deal, but they've also got Damien Cook on their books who recently turned down an offer from Cronulla to re-sign until 2019.
Cook's decision to stay at the club was a puzzling one given Farah's pending arrival at the time, but Reynolds says the former Dragon and Bulldog has really stepped up in the battle for the starting spot.
It's not an unfamiliar role for Cook, who started in seven of his 17 appearances for the club last season.
"If I had to go off pre-season form, he's probably our hooker," Reynolds tells foxsports.com.au of Cook.
"He's done everything right, we're forming a combination between the halves and hookers and fullback, with 'Cookie' and Farah.
"Either one we go with, it's going to be great."
Reynolds believes the addition of Farah to the squad will be hugely valuable, particularly to the club's rising stars.
"His knowledge for the game, his professionalism, it's great for all the younger players," he says.
"He's been competing really well, him and Cook have been pushing each other along all pre-season.
"He's a level-headed bloke and his knowledge of the game is great, so for him to pass that down to the younger boys, it's only going to benefit us."
Reynolds earned himself a NSW jumper last season and played with Farah in Origin I and II before suffering a shoulder injury which saw him miss the final game.
He's excited to see that Origin combination brought to club level this season.
"(Farah) is a great pick-up for us, he's a world class No.9 and I believe he's one of the best hookers in the game," Reynolds says.
"For us to grab him is a bonus for us."
So can the Rabbitohs carry both Farah and Cook in their 17 throughout the season?
"Yeah, I would," Reynolds says.
"They're both X-factors and they can play a number of positions."
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