Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman says five-eighth Josh Reynolds can spark the Bulldogs attack in the absence of Ben Barba.

Josh Reynolds can become Canterbury’s X-Factor this NRL season in the absence of superstar fullback Ben Barba, says Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman.

Barba’s move to Brisbane has left a huge hole at Belmore but Tolman says Reynolds is the man to fill it with his unpredictable playmaking.

Without Barba, NSW utility Reynolds will be asked to take on more responsibility to spark the Dogs attack and Tolman believes he is more than up to the task.

“Josh is a fantastic playmaker, he can be very unpredictable, half the time we don’t know what he is up to so hopefully he can have that effect on defences this season and really make an impact,” Tolman told AAP.

“He has been given a free rein by Des (coach Des Hasler) to do what he wants to do and to play what is in front of him.

“He will go outside our structures and I think that is a good thing.

“He has grown as a player since making his Origin debut last year and his combination with (halfback) Trent Hodkinson will be a great thing for us this year with Josh really looking to get our attack going.

“He adds that real creativity to what we are doing.”

“Ben was a big part of our club but we feel we have guys who can step up and Josh is definitely one of those.”

The loss of Barba has left the fullback spot open at the Bulldogs and Tolman is confident it won’t be a weakness for the club this season.

Sam Perrett, Krisnan Inu and Drury Low are three possibilities to fill the No.1 jersey.

“We have got a few guys who have been working hard to make that spot their own and that can only be a good thing,” he said.

“There is nothing concreted yet but there are a few guys who have been working really hard and have the trials over the next month to put their hand up.”