Raiders give Taylor a shot at NRL return
Photo Source: AAP
Dave Taylor's NRL lifeline must be cleared by the game's governing body as the former State of Origin forward seeks a second lease on life at Canberra.
Taylor has signed a train-and-trial agreement with the Raiders for the 2017 pre-season after being axed by Super League club Catalans after less than a year.
He was offered the incentive-based deal with no guarantees by Canberra coach Ricky Stuart after a career plagued by accusations of not fulfilling his talent.
Even if he does enough to warrant being offered a spot on the Raiders' roster for next season, the former Brisbane, South Sydney and Gold Coast second-rower is no certainty to have his deal rubber-stamped by the NRL.
Taylor will next month be sentenced in a Gold Coast court after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
The NRL would have to be satisfied that he is reformed and he would likely have to undertake drug counselling to have his return approved.
"Like any other player he would have to prove that he is a fit and proper person," an NRL spokesman said.
The Raiders would also have to satisfy the NRL's salary cap auditor that Taylor is being paid at market rate.
While his worth would have taken a hit following his exit to France, he still has eight caps with Queensland and one Test to his name.
Despite his previous indiscretions, the Raiders believe Taylor is worth the punt and would add even more size to their already monster forward pack.
"If David achieves his goals and is then offered a small playing fee for 2017 he has made better choices for himself, his family and his football," Stuart said.
"It has shown he has bought in and committed to turning himself around."