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



What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Flower beds destroyed at Northern Rivers war memorial

FRUSTRATED: Nimbin District Memorial caretaker Paul Le Bars is disappointed someone would go to the trouble of decapitating flowers around the memorial.

"I don't understand what's behind such an aimless thing”

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

Local Partners

High achievers honoured at Australia Day Awards

FIFTEEN new citizens to be welcomed and 27 exceptional citizens and groups honoured.


What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Behind-the-scenes on the Northern Rivers

Olivia Newton-John and Gregg Cave at Gaia Retreat & Spa. Photo Contributed

The latest goss from our region

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!