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



TRIBUTES FLOW: Fond memories for a fine man

Neville Lollback's casket surrounded by his favourite things, including fishing gear and a hockey stick, in the cathedral.

Kind words highlight how fondly Neville Lollback will be remembered

Dear Margaret Court, this is what it's like to be gay

Tennis legend Margaret Court believes Australia should not have marriage equality because it does not align with her view of Christian and Bible values.

Why I live for a time when being gay is 'normal'

Rebels say their goodbyes to a friend

A guard of honour stretched across McKittrick Park yesterday at the funeral prayers for Adam Shiels.

McKittrick Park filled for touching tribute to Adam Shiels

Local Partners

TRIBUTES FLOW: Fond memories for a fine man

KIND words shared by our readers highlight how fondly Neville Lollback will be remembered in the Clarence Valley community.


NRRRL: Magpies on a mission for home fans

ON A MISSION: Captain- coach Dan Randall hopes to lead Lower Clarence Magpies to their first victory of the 2017 NRRRL season when they run out in front of their home fans against Evans Head Bombers at the Nest this Sunday.

Lower Clarence ready for another cracker at the Nest

Polocrosse hits fever pitch at Hawthorne Park

ALL SYSTEMS GO: This weekend Grafton Polocrosse Club hosts its first annual carnival at Hawthorne Park since the club re-formed.

New lease of life in the Clarence Valley for equestrian team sport

Support for Kara's treadmill marathon explodes

Former Grafton and now NSW cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling to cricket legend Sir Viv Richards. Photo: MARK NEWSHAM

Support for treadmill marathon thrills organiser Kara Sutherland.

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

The fact is Stefanovic is paid extremely well by a television network that lives and dies by ratings.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!