Vodafone Warriors halfback Ash Taylor has been forced into premature retirement by a chronic hip injury.
Aged just 27, the one-time boy wonder announced his decision to a large media audience on a Zoom call from the club’s base at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe today.
Before facing the media, Taylor said it had been a tearful experience telling his Vodafone Warriors teammates and staff about calling time on his career this morning.
He had prepared and delivered an impressive retirement speech for the media call.
“I knew my time in the game was coming to a standstill after playing my recent match (against the Titans) and going to the park the next day,” he said.
I couldn’t stand up to play with my children, I was in pain and gradually decliningAsh Taylor Retired Vodafone Warriors halfback
“I couldn’t stand up to play with my children, I was in pain and gradually declining.
“It was coming to a stage where I could see opportunities in training and games but my body physically, especially my hips, couldn’t do what my mind was telling me to do.
“It was hard on me and could have been frustrating on my teammates.”
Taylor said he was deeply grateful for the support he had enjoyed from his partner, children, extended family and friends.
“To the three clubs I’ve been a part of – the Broncos, Titans and Warriors – thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent the clubs across the board. I’ve enjoyed every moment of my career,” he said.
“To all the players and coaches I’ve crossed paths with at the clubs thank you for shaping me into the person I am today.
“This has all happened quickly but I can’t thank the Warriors enough for the way they have handled my situation. They have had me and my family’s interests at heart.”
After joining the Vodafone Warriors on a train and trial contract late last year, Taylor was upgraded to a fulltime deal in January but was able to make just one appearance for his new club.
Ironically his 116th and final career appearance – and sole outing as Vodafone Warrior #268 – was against his former club Gold Coast at his old home ground Cbus Super Stadium on March 19, two days after his 27th birthday.
Taylor ended his Gold Coast career with 16 appearances last season as the club made the finals for just the fourth time and the first since 2016.
He made his NRL debut with Brisbane in 2015 before joining the Titans in 2016, a season which saw him named Dally M rookie of the year.
|Born||March 17, 1995|
|Junior club||Toowoomba Brothers|
|Clubs||Brisbane Broncos (2015), Gold Coast Titans (2016-2021), Vodafone Warriors (2022)|
|NRL debut||Brisbane Broncos v Newcastle Knights, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, September 3, 2015 (Rd 26)|
|Vodafone Warriors No||268|
|NRL games||116 (2015-2022)|
|Brisbane Broncos: 1 (2015)|
|Gold Coast Titans: 114 (2016-2021)|
|Vodafone Warriors: 1 (2022)|
|NRL points||335 (18 tries, 130 goals, 3 field goals)|
|Representative||Junior Kangaroos (2015), Indigenous All-Stars (2017)|