Canberra playmaker Aidan Sezer has leapt to the defence of potential teammate Dave Taylor, labelling him misunderstood and rumours of his lazy attitude a myth.
Crunch time is approaching for the behemoth front-rower, who is attempting to resurrect his NRL career in the nation’s capital.
He was forced to France in the wake of the Gold Coast cocaine scandal however has been signed to a train-and-trial deal by Ricky Stuart who is attempting to finally unlock his largely untapped potential.
While a former Queensland and Australian representative, allegations of a bad attitude and poor training habits have followed the “Coal Train” throughout his career at Brisbane, South Sydney and the Titans.
The pair were teammates on the Gold Coast for three seasons and Sezer has backed Taylor to make his mark on the competition, saying he had always been professional and diligent.
“I played with Dave up on the Gold Coast and he’s always been a tough trainer, he really gets in and grinds out pre-season,” Sezer said in World All Stars camp in Newcastle.
“He looks in good nick and hopefully he gets a run with us.”
Taylor was dropped several times, for disciplinary breaches and form, during his stint at the Titans from 2013-15.
Former Broncos great Gorden Tallis said in 2013 Wayne Bennett accused Taylor of not having a “conscience” and not caring. Broncos coach Bennett is alleged to have said “he’ll do your head in” of Taylor and his unwillingness to apply himself.
Taylor is yet to ink a deal with the Raiders for the 2017 season proper but has reportedly shredded nearly 10kg from his frame over the summer.
Sezer pointed out that Taylor had played for his state and country, leading him to remark that “you don’t get there taking short cuts”.
“He goes get a bad rap. It’s always the big kid that everyone is going to expect more from,” Sezer said.
“At this level you can’t just run and palm off five blokes, this is NRL and we’re all men and it’s not that easy.
“There’s a perception that because he’s so big he’s going to dominate.
“But he’s a great footballler and hopefully he can play some great footy for Canberra.”