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

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Festival's attracting the best

ROCKSTAR: International ambassador of Airlie Beach Festival of Music 8 Ball Aitken will take to the stage.

Airlie Beach festival is where it all started for 8 Ball Aitken.

Jake is having a ball as new cruise ambassador

CUTE: Whitsunday Cruise Ambassador Gay Bowden with grandson Jake Bull.

The youngest cruise ship ambassador.

What catches your eye in the Whitsundays?

MARQUEE: The Airlie Beach Festival of Music marquee is where all the hottest music will be played at the annual event later this year.Photo contributed.

Have your say on Whitsunday landmarks.

Local Partners

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track