Whenever things appear to be going well for Tigers fans, there’s always some bad news just around the corner. And today’s no exception.
Having finally secured former Warrior Tui Lolohea on a two-and-a-half year deal, it’s now emerged that reliable lock forward Elijah Taylor has yet to activate his 2018 option – and he may not do so at all.
According to nrl.com, the issue for Taylor isn’t homesickness from being away from New Zealand, but rather his own advancing age, and knowing that his next contract may be his last.
“I’m getting older in my career and it might be my last contract I sign, so it has to be a smart and wise decision,” Taylor said. “I’m going to take my time with it.”
Of course, there’s not much more time for Taylor to take, if he intends to activate his option – the deadline to do so is Round 13, which begins on Friday. If he declines, he’ll become a free agent in 2018, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’d leave the Tigers. It simply means he’d become available to be poached by rival clubs.
“I’m encouraged by what we’re doing here, and the new direction with Ivan, and the players he’s recruiting, so my future is something we’re working on now.”
Taylor has been outstanding since arriving at the Tigers from the Panthers last year, and would surely attract interest in the event he were to hit the open market.
Being 27 years old, Taylor is right to want to secure a long-term deal sooner rather than later. The Tigers would be wise to do the same.
Taylor has played 131 first grade games for the Tigers, Panthers and Warriors, and 10 Tests for New Zealand.