Warriors halfback Ash Taylor has confirmed his retirement due to a long-term hip injury which left him unable to stand up at times.
The 27-year-old had battled with the ongoing injury, having both hips repaired following the 2020 season, but has now played his last game.
Taylor played 116 games, scoring 18 tries and winning Dally M Rookie of the Year, beating the likes of Latrell Mitchell and Nathan Cleary.
The Warriors called a press conference on Tuesday, where Taylor announced the news.
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“I think you all have an understanding of why we are here today, to call a time on my NRL career through medical advice,” Taylor said.
Taylor thanked family, friends, teammates and the Broncos, Warriors Titans for the opportunities they gave him.
“Who would have thought a little boy from St George who had big dreams to make it to the NRL and to have those dreams come true,” Taylor said.
“I still remember my first game when I was five-years old playing for the St Georger Dragons, all the way to my most recent game for the Warriors, there has been plenty of happy times and some little tough times but I wouldn’t be the man I am today without those times.
“Three shoulder reconstructions, two compound fractures, hand, thumb, wrist, ankle abductor and the more recent hip surgery, I think my body has been through a bit.
“I knew my time in the game was coming to a standstill after playing my recent match and going to the park the next day I couldn’t stand up to play with my children, in pain and was gradually declining.
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“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.
“That is what has been most frustrating, seeing things and being unable to do it, it was hard on me and could have been even more frustrating for my teammates.
Taylor revealed after seeing three different specialists it was in his best interest to give the game up, hoping to preserve his quality of life post NRL.
He also had some words of wisdom for the next generation of rugby league juniors coming through the ranks.
“Don’t think your dreams are too far away, because it could become a reality before you know it with a bit of hard work and a lot of sacrifices,” Taylor said.
Taylor was signed by the Broncos as a 12-year-old making a singular appearance when he was 20 before joining the Gold Coast club in 2016.
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Following his first two seasons as a Titan, he was handed a three-year million a season deal which made him one of the game’s highest paid players.
Taylor was once labelled as the NRL’s next superstar, but failed to capture the form required from a million-dollar player.
The playmaker spent six seasons at the Titans but acknowledged becoming the face of the club, paired with his rich contract took a toll on him and affected his on-field performance.
Following the 2021 season, the Titans didn’t offer him a new deal and after impressing in his short pre-season stint with the Warriors, Taylor was handed a contract but made only two appearances before his hip injury kept him on the sidelines.
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