Elijah Taylor has refused to rule out leaving NRL for union if Tigers don’t table new deal
August 22, 20166:36pm
ELIJAH Taylor has refused to rule out leaving the NRL for rugby union if the Wests Tigers don’t offer him a new deal in the coming weeks.
Taylor has been a revelation at the Tigers since his mid-season switch from Penrith, but he remains a free agent beyond this season.
The New Zealand international has indicated a desire to stay with the joint-venture club, however he is yet to receive a formal offer.
This has opened the door for Taylor to revisit rugby as an option after he considered joining the 15-man code at the start of the season while he was languishing in reserve grade at Penrith.
“If it doesn’t work out here, then obviously I’ve got to go somewhere and rugby is something that has always interested me,” Taylor told The Daily Telegraph.
“I grew up playing it back in New Zealand, so we’ll see what happens here first and then I’ll worry about other things.”
Asked if he had spoken with any Super Rugby clubs, he replied: “I can’t really say.”
In the meantime, Taylor will wait for the Tigers to table a deal before making a decision on his future.
“Hopefully I hear from them soon because I’d like to stay here if I could,” he said.
“It’s something you want to get done, but we’ll see what happens.
“The Tigers are very keen for me to stay, so they are just organising all the paperwork and that stuff.
“It’s a great club, very young, very talented and promising, so it would be good to stay.
“But footy is footy and anything can happen.
“If you asked me last year if I was going to be at the Tigers, I would have said you’re crazy.”
There’s no doubting Taylor wants his future finalised, but he is equally determined to help Wests secure an unlikely finals berth.
On the back of last Friday’s forgettable 30-point loss to Penrith, the Tigers will need to win their remaining two matches against the Warriors and Canberra and hope other results go their way to qualify.
Despite this daunting task, Taylor says his side remain optimistic of defying the odds to play September football.
“We just have to win our games and focus on us,” he said.
“It was a big game out there at Pepper against Penrith last weekend, but defensively we weren’t good enough they put us to the sword.
“We can’t do that again.”
The Tigers’ first challenge will be taming the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
As a former Warrior, Taylor knows what his fellow countrymen are capable of — especially on home turf.
“I’m expecting a very tough game,” he said.
“They have to win as well to make the finals, so it’s going to be do or die.
“If we can play our best footy then we are a chance, but if we don’t it could be another loss like last Friday night (against Penrith).”