Veteran Gold Coast forward Luke Bailey says Dave Taylor is not far from becoming the player he has always threatened to be and the Titans must keep him.
Enigmatic Gold Coast forward Dave Taylor can become the best rugby league player in the world and Titans’ teammate Luke Bailey thinks the NRL club would be crazy to let him go.
Bailey believes 25-year-old Taylor has his best years ahead of him as he adds the maturity and experience to his imposing physical presence and skills.
A newspaper report in the wake of a 42-12 thrashing by Wests Tigers in round two suggested the Titans had offered Taylor to rival clubs, prompting the 121kg giant to seek clarity over his future from the club.
The Titans issued a stern denial of the report, which suggested the club were keen to offload Taylor due to his $400,000-a-season contract, which runs until the end of the 2016 season.
Veteran Bailey said the reports had been news to Taylor’s teammates as well as to the man himself.
“He’s definitely a bloke we love to have around,” Bailey told AAP.
“I know there was talk about the club shopping him around but that’s the first I’ve heard of it.
“We’d be silly to let someone like him go.”
After spending most of his first campaign with the Titans coming off the bench as an impact player, the former Queensland and Australia representative has started all three of Gold Coast’s matches so far this season.
Bailey says despite his imposing physical frame, Taylor is a jovial figure who can sometimes take criticism to heart.
But the 34-year-old believes Taylor is making the right strides towards finally realising his full potential.
“He’s a big monster but he’s got feelings and it’s hard when you cop it all the time,” he said.
“He’s got the potential to be the best player in the world, everyone knows that.
“He’s maturing a lot. He’s talking to Carty (coach John Cartwright) about more gameplans and he’s opened up.
“He’s grown as a footy player. That’s what we want and I’m sure we’ll see some consistency.”