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Taylor in box seat at Titans but new deal is no certainty

Titans playmaker Ash Taylor is fighting for his future with coach Justin Holbrook wanting to see more from the club’s highly-paid star before offering him a new deal for 2022.

Taylor is coming to the end of his lucrative Titans deal and while he is expected to take an enormous cut to his seven-figure salary, Holbrook has yet to issue a new deal to the 26-year-old.

The Titans remain interested but doubt they’ll land Brisbane’s Kotoni Staggs with Holbrook adamant there was “no announcement for anyone coming in or going out” in their roster build for 2022.

Holbrook, however, refused to be drawn on whether Taylor had done enough to warrant a new deal just yet.

“I don’t know, that’s a tough one,” he said.

“We just have to see how it pans out over the next few weeks.

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“He just needs to play well. It’s an obvious answer but it’s true. He is getting better every week and we just need him to keep improving and keep working hard.

“We haven’t got anything locked in (recruitment-wise in the halves) for next year and he is currently there so he is in the best position so he just has to keep improving.

“He is getting there and he has a bit of a way to go but he is improving every week.”

Jamal Fogarty and Taylor have just two try assists between them this year but Holbrook insisted the duo were doing enough in attack as their game style isn't reliant upon the halves but rather bodies in motion creating opportunities across the field.

“I think we’re scoring enough points, it’s only one game we didn’t go well there so I think we’re going OK,” Holbrook said.

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Holbrook has yet to taste defeat against “big brother” Brisbane and it's a record he’d like to keep going at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Former Bronco David Fifita starred in the Titans’ 28-16 win over Brisbane six weeks ago but Holbrook expects more resistance for his star forward this time around as he enters a stadium filled with Broncos fans.

“The crowd won’t bother him because he is such a good player but obviously the Broncos will be doing their best to stop him and we’re aware of that but we just need to keep the focus on ourselves,” he said.

Titans co-captain Kevin Proctor completed the full session on Thursday but remains in doubt with a knee injury, with Beau Fermor a strong chance to play after starring for Burleigh in the Intrust Super Cup last week.

 

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