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Taylor on Raiders' radar as major halves decision looms

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart confirmed Ash Taylor's management spoke to the club about a possible move to the nation's capital next season but indicated talk surrounding him signing was premature.

Taylor's future at the Titans appears all but over with the 26-year-old meeting with rival clubs in recent weeks to explore the market and lock in a new deal elsewhere following the retentions of Jamal Fogarty and Toby Sexton on the Gold Coast. 

The Raiders are yet to replace George Williams, who departed the club and returned to England in bitter circumstances in June.

Stuart indicated on Wednesday their next long-term halfback choice was crucial for the future.

The Raiders have coincidently been based on the Gold Coast for the second half of the year where Taylor has experienced a rollercoaster six seasons.

Storm v Raiders - Round 22

"Ash has spoken about to a number of clubs and we were one club his management did speak to," Stuart said.

"We're considering a number of options in regards to seven. We're not sitting on our hands but it's a big decision for the club with which way we move next.

"It's something we discuss daily - myself, Peter Mulholland, Joel Carbone and Don Furner in regards to the strategy and our direction we need to take.

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"It's a very big decision going forward. I'm not downplaying it. It's a matter of we've got to make the right decision."

Raiders namesake Sam Williams has stepped into the halfback role since the Englishman's exit but Stuart said he required further depth in the position.

Williams is off contract at the end of the year but is expected to ink a new deal with the Green Machine for 2022.

"I'm all about competition for positions and you look at what's happened this year and the amount of times Sammy's played for us it shows that he's valuable in regards to the depth he provides," Stuart said.

"He fills in and controls a footy team well."

The Raiders bounced back from defeat to knock over the Dragons last week but not many are giving them a chance against a Storm outfit chasing 18 straight wins on Thursday night.

After getting back into the top eight this week for the first time since round 10, Stuart's side have a tricky run home that includes clashes against the Sea Eagles and Roosters to follow.

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"Nobody else has given us any hope but I certainly do," Stuart said.

"When we play to standards that we set as a football team and every individual contributes to the standard we're a very competitive football team.

"The Storm are very good. We've got a major challenge ahead of us but we're certainly not intimidated, put it that way."

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