Reynolds know Souths’ ‘spine’ were starting to seriously hum, especially with Mitchell in brilliant touch in the No.1. But Allan, who was nicknamed “the social loafer” by coach Wayne Bennett, would not disappoint.
“We lose Latrell’s presence out the back there, it can weigh on a player’s mind when you’re going into a game that they’re playing ‘Latrell Mitchell’, and his sheer power, strength and skill out the back there will be missed,” Reynolds said.
“Corey filled in and did a great job there on the weekend [for the final 30 minutes against Parramatta]. He’s been great for us in the past and hasn’t let us down.
“We’ll work in nicely with him and give him some opportunity. No doubt you’ll see the ‘social loafer’ in action.
“He’s incredibly smart for someone who hasn’t played that much first grade. His knowledge of the game is really good. He seems to be in the right place at the right time nine times out of 10, he puts his body on the line and turns up when you need him to.”
Mitchell suffered a season-ending hamstring injury against the Eels.
Bennett had to decide between Allan and Johnston as his replacement, with the latter returning from a head knock. Off-contract Johnston sees himself as a fullback – there is no denying his ability to finish tries on the wing – while Allan, a No.1 by trade, is more of a threat returning the ball.
Allan was pushed on to Gold Coast as part of a sweetener for the club to release representative forward Arrow.
Dane Gagai was named to return from his own hamstring injury in the centres but did not train on Tuesday, with Steven Marsters slotting into right centre inside Jaxson Paulo.
In other team news, Billy Kikau returns for table-toppers Penrith who travel to Brisbane on Thursday night, with Api Koroisau (calf) named in the No.18. Payne Haas is back from suspension for the hosts.
Chad Townsend is back on deck for Cronulla against Newcastle on Friday evening and Luke Keary steps out for the Roosters on Saturday night after overcoming a rib injury, with Mitch Aubusson (wrist) and Angus Crichton (knee) named on an extended bench.
Wests Tigers skipper Moses Mbye reverts to fullback and Adam Doueihi shifts to the centres, with Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks retained in the halves for the Manly clash.
Wigan-bound Jai Field will wear the Parramatta No.6 jersey for the injured Dylan Brown as the Eels head north for the Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.