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Grant's role in loan deal revealed as Taylor eyes NZ move

Jesse Arthars sought the advice of Harry Grant before agreeing to a loan deal with the Warriors but there were no second thoughts for Ash Taylor as he aims to revive his NRL career in New Zealand without the burden of a big money contract.

Arthars signed a new two-year deal with the Broncos in August and was preparing to return to pre-season training this week when he received a phone call to advise that the Warriors wanted him on loan for next season.

While he had dreamed of playing for the Warriors as a junior with the East Coast Bays Barracudas in Auckland, Arthars was unsure about joining the club on a loan deal so he contacted Grant.

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The Storm hooker and former Wests Tigers centre Paul Momirovski, who will play for Sydney Roosters next season, were the first NRL players involved in a loan deal when they swapped clubs in 2020.

Grant returned to Melbourne this year with a reputation as one of the best hookers in the NRL after making his Origin debut for Queensland while playing for the Tigers and he convinced Arthars of the merits of a spending season on loan with the Warriors.

“I just wanted to see how it was; going to a new club and obviously transferring back,” Arthars said.

“He was all for it and obviously the ball was in my court to choose this decision, but it was always good to get some outside opinions on it so it was really good to speak to Harry.

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“Harry had an awesome year at the Tigers so I will be training hard and working hard to try and do something similar.”

The Warriors will be the fifth NRL club for 23-year-old Arthars, who has enjoyed stints with the Storm, Rabbitohs and Titans before joining the Broncos two years ago.

However, his latest move is for strategic as well as sentimental reasons after moving to the Gold Coast with his family in 2009.

“When I spoke to [Warriors GM of football] Craig Hodges about it, and obviously my manager and my family, we just thought there would be a good opportunity here,” he said.

“I don’t think there is as much competition in the outside backs. Obviously being a Kiwi boy, as well, the incentive of joining the Warriors is a pretty big thing for me so when they came calling I was pretty interested.

“The Warriors is like the national team so all the young kids growing up in New Zealand, I think everyone aspires to play for the Warriors and I was no different.

"When I was playing for the Barracudas I was always around people in Warriors jerseys and wanting to play for the Warriors so it is quite fitting that I am here now.

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“In my case it is really beneficial for myself, the Warriors and the Broncos so it is a win-win there.

“Hopefully I can get a bit more experience and be a better player for it when I go back to Brisbane.”

Meanwhile, Taylor said he was hoping to earn a fulltime contract with the Warriors and would be prepared to move to New Zealand when the team finally returns home to play Penrith on June 18.

The former Gold Coast star is on a train-and-trial contract with the Warriors and admitted he wasn’t considering any other options if the club declined to sign him.

Yet after struggling with the expectations and pressures associated with a big money five-year contract with the Titans, Taylor said his love for the game had been rekindled at the Warriors and he was hoping to start the second chapter of his career.

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“My mind is a lot more relaxed than what it was. Coming off a big contract it was just a weight lifted off my shoulders,” the 26-year-old said.

“I still feel pressure on myself to earn a contract, but I just really want to work hard for it and show my gratefulness. I still really want to play in the NRL.

“Obviously, it is a step backwards now from where I was, but I am looking for new challenges. I am really enjoying it so far so hopefully I can get a contract here and start the 2.0.

“I love the game and still have a lot to give to the game so I just really want to give it another crack and if I get another contract I get one and if not it is not the end of the world. I have got a lot more to look forward to in life.”

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