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20 Jan 2018 4:21
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Re-signed Taylor urged to 'own' NRL Titans

    Ash Taylor has re-signed with the Gold Coast on a three-year deal, despite attracting big interest from Queensland NRL rivals Brisbane.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Ash Taylor insists he never gave an NRL return to Brisbane serious thought, saying his chance to own Gold Coast's fortunes was the reason for staying put.

    Taylor on Wednesday signed a three-year extension with the Titans, reported to be worth $1 million a season, in a show of faith that will see the 22-year-old at the club until at least 2021.

    The Broncos were keen on luring the halfback to Red Hill, where he played under-20s and made one NRL appearance in 2015, once off contract with Gold Coast next season.

    But Taylor says a move north would have been a mistake and that he was happy to re-sign before rival clubs could enter the race to secure him on November 1.

    "I didn't really think about that; it wasn't really an option for me," he said about a possible Broncos approach.

    "There's lots of key players there and they couldn't really fit me in the system.

    "Obviously Wayne (Bennett) wanted me back there, as we saw in the media, but I just don't think that was the best option for me."

    While admitting the halfback still had a lot of work to do, new coach Garth Brennan anointed the Toowoomba product as the man to "own" the team and deliver a premiership.

    It is a massive investment in a player entering just his third NRL season, but Brennan has a high opinion of Taylor having served as his private mentor for the last 18 months.

    "At the end of the day your halfback needs to own the football team, and it's time for Ash to say 'you're the half-back, take control'," Brennan said.

    "I think he is (capable of leading the Titans to a premiership) ... the spotlight's going to be on him now, with that contract signed, but I'm sure he'll embrace it and be the kind of person that can handle that."

    Taylor said Brennan's arrival was a massive factor in his decision and that talk of him taking control of the struggling club was "all part of the process".

    "That was a big decision in making my decision, Garth being coach," Taylor said.

    "The future's bright here at the club with Garth."

    The club has made no secret of its urgency to retain the man they see as the future of their club, Titans boss Graham Annesley not missing a chance to trumpet Taylor's potential on Wednesday.

    "I think he can go on and be one of the most outstanding players in the game over the next seven, eight, nine years," Annesley said.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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