It was only a five-day camp, but Ryan James expects Ash Taylor’s All-Star experience could help shape the 21-year-old’s career.
The Gold Coast No.7 was roomed with North Queensland superstar Johnathan Thurston in the Indigenous camp, and James said he could see the immediate impact on the Titans’ second-season halfback.
“He stuck by JT’s side all week,” James said.
“He helped him with little things around training and was helping him make sure he does the extras.
“I think Ash really got something out of that week and I was happy that he was his roommate because it’s great for us here at the Titans for him to get that experience.”
Taylor is favoured to win out in the Titans’ three-way battle to secure one of the club’s play-making spots.
After being named the NRL’s rookie of the year last year, he starred for the Indigenous side in their 34-8 win in Newcastle – scoring a try against the run of play and combining slickly with Thurston.
Taylor also appeared to have bulked up since last season, and is expected to partner the Titans’ 2015 rookie of the year – Kane Elgey – come round one.
“(Ash) is only a kid, last year was his first year in first grade and he got rookie of the year,” James said.
Meanwhile Elgey showed glimpses of his best in the Titans 30-18 trial win over Parramatta on Sunday.
After more than a year on the sideline with a knee injury, he laid on the first try for Leivaha Pulu before he was subbed off in the hot conditions.
“Kane came back for his first run and played excellent in his first trial,” James said.
“And Tyrone (Roberts) played excellent in the All-Stars game as well so it’s great that we’ve got three genuine halves who can really put their hand up.”