Dave Taylor’s fall from grace has continued with the out-of-sorts Gold Coast forward dropped to the Queensland Cup in a bid to find form.
The former Queensland State of Origin second-rower will play for the Tweed Heads Seagulls this weekend as his Titans teammates prepare to take on Canterbury on Sunday.
It is a significant blow for Taylor, who has looked visibly off the pace at NRL level in recent weeks and has failed to capture the same form that saw him heralded as a long-term Maroons option when he was with South Sydney.
Coach Neil Henry admitted Taylor – one of the five Titans caught up in a cocaine scandal earlier this year – was at a crossroads in his career.
“It’s a bit of a kick in the backside for him,” Henry said.
“He’s really down in form. It’s uncharacteristic of him, really.
“He hasn’t been too involved in games, he’s had a few defensive lapses at times, and a couple times where he’s turned over the ball or put a kick through like he did last week. That’s not part of his role to do those sorts of things.
“He hasn’t been the player we know he can be on a consistent basis this year.”
Ben Ridge replaces Taylor in Gold Coast’s starting side while Matt Robinson has been called up to the bench.
Henry said Taylor’s demotion may only last one week if he can put together a good enough 80-minute performance in the Queensland Cup.
“He was disappointed, as all players would be,” Henry said.
“But he does see it as an opportunity to get some good minutes on the park.”
Meanwhile, the Titans have moved utility Daniel Mortimer to halfback to cover for the loss of boom youngster Kane Elgey (ankle), who could be out for up to six weeks.
Kierran Moseley will wear the No.9 jersey but is likely to share the hooking duties and rotate with Mortimer during the game.
With skipper Nate Myles unavailable due to State of Origin, local product Ryan James will captain Gold Coast for the first time.