Wests Tigers forward Elijah Taylor has nominated himself to become the NRL club’s new captain next season.
Elijah Taylor has told Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary he is ready to be the NRL club’s captain next year following the departure of Aaron Woods.
Cleary is weighing up his leadership options, with Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence and incoming former Kiwi prop Ben Matulino understood to be among the other options.
But Taylor, who was named the club’s player of the year at last week’s awards dinner, has revealed he has met with Cleary to volunteer his name for the role.
“I said I’ll definitely put my hand up to be captain of the squad,” he said.
“I would be honoured if I was considered for captain. I think I would do a very good job. I’ve captained back in the under-20s and a few times here at Tigers.”
Taylor was almost lost to rugby league a year-and-a-half ago, before Cleary’s predecessor Jason Taylor brought the utility across following a leadership discussion.
Stuck in reserve grade at Penrith, the former Kiwi international was considering contracts with two New Zealand Super Rugby clubs before the Tigers came knocking.
“When you’re playing reserve grade and you’re not used to playing reserve grade it’s pretty hard to love rugby league - I was just kicking stones,” Taylor said.
"I was really thinking about going to union but Wests Tigers came and the meeting with Jason Taylor.
“Our first ever meeting… we didn’t talk about footy, we talked about leadership and straight away I basically signed because of the conversation I had with him.”
Cleary said Taylor was “in the mix” for the captaincy role, but he wanted to see how the new group formed given the likes of former Warriors prop Matulino were recruited as much for their experience off the field as on it.
“He’s certainly got a lot of qualities in that respect,” Cleary said of Taylor.
“A lot will come down to the chemistry of the group. Leaders end up coming through themselves.”