Dave Taylor to continue career overseas
Dave Taylor's sometimes brilliant, often tumultuous career in the NRL looks as though it is coming to an end with the former Origin prop set to reject a one-year contract extension at Canberra to take up a more lucrative opportunity overseas.
NRL.com understands that Taylor has already informed some Raiders senior players that he won't be at the club in 2018 with Canberra's salary cap constraints making them unable to provide a significant upgrade on the $85,000 contract he is on this season.
With the five-match suspension of Sia Soliola on Tuesday night Taylor has an important role to play in trying to keep Canberra's finals hopes alive over the next six weeks, starting with Saturday's assignment against one of his former clubs, South Sydney.
But with money invested elsewhere it appears as though the Raiders have little room to move on their initial offer and will move forward without the services of Taylor from next season.
The 28-year-old played a key role in Canberra's come-from-behind golden point win against the Dragons in Round 19 with a number of powerful charges and an offload for Elliot Whitehead's golden point match-winner and appeared to have resurrected his NRL career with the Raiders.
Handed the opportunity to prove himself on a train-and-trial contract by Canberra coach Ricky Stuart after a season with the Catalans Dragons in the English Super League, Taylor supplemented his rugby league income by working at the Top Pub in Queanbeyan, his efforts in a gruelling pre-season program earning the respect of the playing group.
"'Sticky' (Stuart) gave him a really big challenge when he first arrived here before Christmas and he's stood up to every challenge that Ricky has given him," said young Raiders forward Luke Bateman.
"He's turned his life and footy around at the moment. He's been in good form and been going well for us and doing what he's been told.
"The boys enjoy his company and he's a good player obviously so whether he stays or whether he goes, I'd definitely like to see him stick around."
A player of unquestionable talent, Taylor has frustrated coaches who have struggled to get consistently good performances from him throughout his career that began in Brisbane as a 17-year-old and has included stints with the Rabbitohs and Titans.
Caught up in the cocaine scandal that engulfed the Titans in 2015, Taylor headed to France to play with Catalans in 2016 where he scored nine tries in 26 appearances across all competitions but was released halfway through a two-year deal.
A Queensland representative on eight occasions between 2010 and 2014, Taylor played one Test for Australia in 2012 against New Zealand and ahead of Saturday's game against the Rabbitohs has played 175 games in the NRL.