Dave Taylor dumped in Titans shake-up
Dave Taylor's future at the Titans has been put in further doubt with coach Neil Henry again losing patience with the former Test and Origin star.
Taylor is one of a host of changes Henry has made for Friday night's clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium with winger Anthony Don paying the price for two sub-standard performances and new recruits Chad Redman and Nathaniel Peteru also omitted.
The return of Aidan Sezer at five-eighth has seen Daniel Mortimer moved to the bench with Lachlan Burr, Matthew White and David Hala coming into a squad of 18 having missed last week's loss to the Knights.
Although the effort and energy has been down across almost the entire team in their past two games, Taylor's lack of involvement and deficiencies in defence in particular have brought about his relegation, Henry saying a return to first grade is now dependent on how he performs in the Intrust Super Cup.
"It just leaves Dave finding some form, that's what he needs to do," Henry said of Taylor's future. "We know what he can do but he needs to go back and play Queensland Cup, he should show that he's above that competition and I expect him to do that.
"I suppose it's a bit of a kick in the backside for him.
"We've persevered there a little bit but I just think the workrate hasn't been there and the involvement in the game and certainly his defensive efforts need improving. We need to make a change there."
Although there is a year to run on his contract at the Titans speculation has been rife that Taylor is being shopped around as the Titans try to shed him from their roster for 2016.
It leaves one of the game's most mercurial talents uncertain of his future in the NRL but the returning Sezer believes he will fight his way back into the team in the coming weeks.
"He's a class player Dave," Sezer said. "He gets a bit sidetracked sometimes but we all know what he is capable of and what he can produce at his best and hopefully he gets back to doing that."
Given the quality of their last two displays the Titans are looking more like wooden spoon contenders than a finals-bound outfit with Henry desperate to inject some enthusiasm back into the line-up.
Both of the Titans' feeder teams have been enduring a similarly lean trot in the Intrust Super Cup of late but Henry said that the form of Gordon, White and Hala as individuals had warranted a first grade call-up.
"It's a bit of a reward for effort and it's also a bit of notice that we can't keep recycling the same players if we're not getting a result," said Henry.
"We've certainly lacked a fair bit of enthusiasm or desire in the last two games in particular which is something we haven't seen all season. There's no excuse for our lack of commitment or attitude at times over the last two weeks.
"Matt White had an outstanding game for Tweed against Pride on Sunday and he's had a couple of good runs there now and put his hand up to get included in the team.
"At the moment our confidence is down and the only way you build that is to get in the game and do your best but we've got to have that enthusiasm.
"We're realists and we're down and out at the moment but we need to get up there in front of hopefully a healthy crowd against a side that's on top of the competition and flying high.
"It should be a great atmosphere and we need to acquit ourselves well."