Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Ash Taylor’s tenure at the Gold Coast Titans has been a rollercoaster ride to say the very least.
Following a Rookie of the year campaign in 2016 and two straight years in the top five of the try assists tally in 2017 and 2018, Taylor’s form has dropped significantly in large part due to the pressure on his shoulders to perform once the Titans signed him to a multi-million dollar deal.
However, it seems that the 26-year-old’s time at the club is coming to an end with reports coming from The Australian stating that the Canberra Raiders have offered Taylor a deal believed to be worth between $250,000 and $300,000 for next season.
Canberra is desperate for someone to breathe new life into the halves following the midseason departure of George Williams and the severe drop in form of 2020 Dally M medallist Jack Wighton.
Most would believe that Taylor’s best role would be to partner Wighton in the halves, although the recent stability experienced campaigner Sam Williams has brought to the side deserves to be rewarded, and as previously mentioned, Wighton has had a very poor season and a move to the centres could be the best fit for him going forward, especially when considering how Canberra Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker is also currently going through a form slump.
This would see Taylor as the ball running half while Williams controlled the side and Wighton moved to the centres to help out Canberra’s edge defence and try to recapture his past form.
Another option would be to play Taylor as the Raiders’ bench utility while Wighton works on picking up some momentum in the halves alongside Sam Williams.
When looking at how the Titans would line up next season as a result of this move, Jamal Fogarty could run the ball at six while young Toby Sexton, who has impressed as a game controller thus far, can lock down the number seven, with Tanah Boyd coming off of the bench, and if that was to not work out then the club can go to market with the cap space freed up by the exit of Ash Taylor and look for a halfback for 2023.