Sport

Raiders offer to help get Coal Train back on tracks

Dave Taylor during a Gold Coast Titans training session last year.
Dave Taylor during a Gold Coast Titans training session last year. DAVE HUNT

RUGBY LEAGUE: The engine of Ricky Stuart's Green Machine is shaping up to be the heaviest in the NRL next season.

The Canberra Raiders have thrown much-maligned Queenslander Dave Taylor a train-and-trial lifeline in the hope the former Maroons monster can return to his damaging best in season 2017.

After being released by French Super League franchise Catalans, Taylor - nicknamed the Coal Train - will join pre-season training in the nation's capital next month to try to prove he is worthy of another crack at the NRL after previous stints with the Broncos, Rabbitohs and Titans.

At 123kg, Taylor would join starting props Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo in tipping the scales at more than 122kg, while representative back-rower Josh Papalii weighs in at 112kg.

The Raiders will review Taylor's form in December and if he impresses them - both on and off the track - could earn himself a start in their trial matches in January and possibly an NRL contract.

"If David achieves his goals and is then offered a small playing fee for 2017 he has made better choices for himself, his family and his football,” a blunt Stuart said.

"It has shown he has bought in and committed to turning himself around.

"The Raiders have the resources in turning David into a regular NRL player, but it's up to David to show if he wants it bad enough.”

On his day, Taylor can destroy an opposition defence like few others, with his undeniable talent earning him eight Origin caps for Queensland and a Kangaroos jumper in 2012.

But his career has been plagued by constant queries over his fitness and desire.

He first debuted with Brisbane at the age of 18, before heading to Souths in 2010 and then returning to Queensland in 2013 with the Gold Coast.

Having been embroiled in the Titans' cocaine scandal last year, Taylor subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of cocaine possession and is set to be sentenced next month.

Taylor's departure from French-based Catalans has also raised eyebrows, given he and fellow star NRL recruits Todd Carney and Glenn Stewart were released amid conjecture around their off-field behaviour.

Ex-English league legend Garry Schofield took aim at Taylor during Catalans' 44-0 loss to Hull FC in August, tweeting "I really believe that Dave Taylor produced the most pathetic performance in terms of attitude I've ever seen”.

Taylor's former Titans teammate Greg Bird, meanwhile, has been fined by police for his involvement in an incident at a Byron Bay hotel last month.

The forward, who has left the Titans to join Catalans, received a $550 fine for refusing to leave the premises.

Topics:  canberra raiders dave taylor ricky stuart



"Eco-cretins" sabotage shark nets, risk swimmers' lives

A blacktip shark caught in a shark net at the end of last year.

Since 2015, there have been 22 shark attacks in New South Wales.

Best hotel in the world found in Cabarita

FIRST CLASS: Cabarita Beach's Halcyon House has taken out the top gong for best hotel in the world.

Halcyon House named best hotel.

Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1

YOU'RE FIRED: A car burns on Pacific Motorway at Wooyung after police deployed road spikes to end a pursuit that began at South Grafton.

Jail time for teen who led police on car chase.

Local Partners

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ocean views of Coolangatta

1405/3 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Check out this week's feature property.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Expansion plan pays off

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Investrent Property Management are going from strength to strength after opening an office in Murwillumbah.

Murwillumbah move a winner for property management team

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!