Ash Taylor of the Gold Coast Titans is seen training in Perth, Thursday, February 13, 2020. The NRL Nines competition is taking place over the weekend at HBF Park in Perth. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ash Taylor of the Gold Coast Titans is seen training in Perth, Thursday, February 13, 2020. The NRL Nines competition is taking place over the weekend at HBF Park in Perth. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Taylor up for challenge to help NRL take off

Titans playmaker Ash Taylor admits leaving his support network for weeks on end to restart the NRL season will be difficult but he says he's up for the challenge.

It comes as the NRL confirmed players' needs will be their "No.1 priority" if teams are forced to relocate once the season resumes.

Taylor stepped away from rugby league at the back end of last season to deal with his mental health and made a return to the NRL this year with a fresh mind and energised spirit.

 

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Ash Taylor with his partner Montana and their baby Oscar. Picture: Jerad Williams
Ash Taylor with his partner Montana and their baby Oscar. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

Upon his return to rugby league, the Queensland Origin hopeful admitted he had received help for his mental wellbeing and hoped to continue the support throughout the 2020 season.

However, the club now faces the possibility of moving to a NSW camp to restart the NRL season from its coronavirus hibernation - which would remove Taylor from his trusted network of family and friends.

The 25-year-old said he was prepared to face the challenge to get back to playing rugby league.

"You could say it will play a part (mental health) because you're not used to being in camp for such a long time with the boys," Taylor said.

"It will be something different and it will be a challenge, but I love challenges.

"I've been through a lot of challenges in my life and I'm just really looking forward to (getting back to playing footy)."

The Titans have a high-quality welfare and education team at the club and if forced to relocate from the Gold Coast, will look at integrating those members with the players full-time.

The NRL are also ramping up their welfare support program, with a spokesman on Monday confirming "if clubs are relocated from their home environments, their welfare needs will be our No.1 priority".

Taylor said the isolation had been a blessing for him to be able to spend more time with his newborn son and partner.

"It's been a lot different," he said. "I love being at home 24-7 with my newborn.

 

Ash Taylor is keen to put the struggles of last season behind him. Picture: AAP
Ash Taylor is keen to put the struggles of last season behind him. Picture: AAP

 

"It's just good to see him grow up every day and get to know his routine, what he gets up to everyday. It's probably a bit of a blessing for me, in some ways, but I do miss playing footy.

"That's what I've been brought up to do and I love and miss the game."

Taylor said he was prepared to make a little sacrifice now for the betterment of the NRL in the future.

"I don't think it would be comfortable but I think it's just something you have to do to play the game you love," he said.

"You have to make sacrifices. You have to sacrifice a little bit of time now, to make sure the game goes forever past my time.

"It'll just be something we have to do."

 

 

 

Originally published as Taylor up for challenge to help NRL take off


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