After a week of soul-searching, Gold Coast have decided to leave Ash Taylor out of this week’s team to allow the halfback to continue his recovery away from the spotlight.
Taylor was on Tuesday named at five-eighth for the Titans’ clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday, however NRL.com understands he won’t travel with the team for the match at Kogarah.
Club hierarchy gathered this week to discuss Taylor’s immediate future after a modest performance against the Roosters in his first game back in the NRL after an extended period away from rugby league.
It was determined by the coaching staff and club officials that it was best for Taylor and the Titans for the 24-year-old to be removed from the NRL team, potentially for the remainder of the season.
The fact the Titans were thrashed by the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground didn’t help Taylor’s cause, however there are concerns he may have been brought back prematurely.
It’s unclear whether Taylor will play in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend, or play another game at any level this season, with the club to assess the situation on a week-to-week basis.
Incoming Titans coach Justin Holbrook has coached Taylor in the past, but will no doubt be keeping a close eye on the situation as his time with St Helens in the Super League draws to a close.
Dragons v Titans - Round 21
"I actually had him in the Junior Kangaroos and he was an outstanding young player,” Holbrook told NRL.com last week.
"He got man of the match in the game against the Junior Kiwis when I had him. I know he's an outstanding young talent. I haven't spoken to him yet but that's something I will worry about before I get there."
Taylor is contracted with the Titans until the end of 2021, with the club still hopeful he can rediscover the type of form that saw him earn a lucrative extension just 18 months ago.
The former Broncos junior is still training with the Titans, despite being told he won’t play this weekend.
The Titans, who have not officially announced Taylor won't be playing in the NRL side this weekend, don’t have a recognised playmaker in their 21-man-squad, however they could play AJ Brimson, Bryce Cartwright or Tyrone Peachey at five-eighth in his absence.
Travel takes toll at Knights
Newcastle have taken some responsibility for things not panning out the way they had hoped with Jesse Ramien.
The club believes the decision for Ramien to live on the Central Coast to be closer to his daughter affected his experience with the club.
Given he was travelling over an hour each way to get to training, Ramien was regularly first to leave and as a result missed out on many bonding opportunities with the rest of the team.
The club has taken some of the blame for that, and are likely to ask all their players to reside in Newcastle in future.
Ramien inundated with offers
Speaking of Ramien, the out-of-favour centre met with his management on Wednesday to discuss the options on the table.
It’s believed the Bulldogs, Eels, Tigers, Titans, Cowboys and Sharks have all expressed interest.
Peters switch at Souths
There will be a change in the South Sydney NRL coaching staff next year after assistant coach Willie Peters was told he would be moving to coach the club’s Canterbury Cup team in 2020.
Herman set to head back to Dogs
The Bulldogs are moving closer to striking a deal with Herman Ese’ese. Both parties are keen for the reunion, however they are still negotiating the finer detail. Ese’ese is holding out for a three-year deal while the Bulldogs originally offered two.
Gurr on the move from Eels
Parramatta have parted ways with chief executive Bernie Gurr. The club will be on the lookout for a new CEO. Gurr has been in charge of the club since 2016, taking over after the infamous salary cap scandal that rocked the club.
Eels chairman Sean McElduff said: "Bernie has provided a major contribution to rebuilding our Club both on and off the field. He is an experienced administrator who provided stability, calmness and professionalism to the many issues our club was facing in 2016," he said in a statement.
Fresh face needs introduction
Teenage Panthers debutant Matt Burton isn’t a face most people know at Penrith. Hence why he had to introduce himself to his teammates and coaching staff when he was called in to training before his debut at the expense of the suspended James Maloney.
Panthers v Sharks - Round 21
Flanno won't sign with Saints
It’s unlikely Shane Flanagan will head to the Super League as Justin Holbrook’s successor, despite the NRL not standing in his way. Perhaps Flanagan is holding out for a NRL job in 2021 if the governing body give him the green light to return from his suspension.
Whispers about the Bulldogs won’t go away given Flanagan and Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill’s long-standing relationship which dates back to when they were on the coaching staff at the Eels many years ago.
The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.