Coal train may not steam into Bathurst

IN DOUBT: Titans forward Dave Taylor may not make the trip to Bathurst next month to play the Penrith Panthers as he currently faces cocaine supply charges. Photo: GETTY IMAGES 022315taylor
Nanjing Night Net

RUGBY LEAGUE

WHEN it was announced the Gold Coast Titans would be the team to take on Penrith in the second game of their five-year Carrington Park deal, league fans were relishing the prospect of seeing the man known as the ‘coal train’ – Dave Taylor – in full steam.

The Queensland representative and former Kangaroo forms part of a much acclaimed Titans pack, which also includes Nate Myles and Greg Bird.

It was a group of big men who were expected to dish it out to the Panthers in the round two NRL match on March 14.

But now it seems highly unlikely that Bathurst league fans will get to see the 188 centimetre, 122 kilogram forward in action.

On Sunday afternoon Taylor was served with a notice to appear in court on March 9 by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (QCCC) on cocaine supply charges.

He was immediately stood down by the club and now has to plead his case to the Titans board not to have his contract ripped up.

But Taylor is not the only member of the Titans’ squad who may not be making the trip to Bathurst.

Australian back rower Bird, outside back Kalifa Faifai Loa, hooker Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling were also charged as a result of the same QCCC investigation.

Bird, a 30-year-old representative star, looks particularly in danger of finding himself on the NRL scrap heap considering he has already been put on notice after being stripped of the club’s co-captaincy and fined following a public urination incident in December in the aftermath to his wedding in Byron Bay.

When Taylor arrive at the Gold Coast Airport on Sunday after a trial loss to the North Queensland Cowboys, he only offered “no comment”.

He was whisked away into a waiting car outside the terminal as the media pack pressed him for information.

Bird was another target of media attention as he left the airport, refusing to comment on the scandal which has also resulted in Queensland Reds star Karmichael Hunt facing drug supply charges.

With much uncertainly surrounding the future of those Titans players, the make up of the side which takes to the Carrington Park turf could be vastly different to what was originally anticipated.

Titans chief executive Graham Annesley said a decision on the players’ future could take “a little bit of time” because of the uncertainty over the case against them and what is alleged to have occurred.

He anticipated the meetings with the board should take place within the next couple of weeks.

“It was damaging on Friday, it’s more damaging today,” Annesley said on Sunday evening.

“Each of these revelations places the club in a more difficult position.

“I’ve kind of run out of words to explain it. It’s incredibly difficult for everyone to deal with, all the good people associated with this club.

“To be constantly dragged through these kind of scandals is incredibly difficult for the club.

“The club will recover, I have no qualms about that.

“This is the sixth largest city in the country, in the middle of rugby league heartland, it deserves to have an NRL club and we’re doing everything we can to deliver that.”

Though the Titans’ line-up is in some doubt, Bathurst league fans will still get to see some big name players at Carrington Park.

Penrith’s 2015 squad includes former NSW State of Origin players Peter Wallace, Jamal Idris and Brent Kite as well as men who have played for New Zealand in Elijah Taylor, Dean Whare and Sika Manu.

Tickets are now on sale at Bathurst Panthers for the match, which is set to kick off at 4.30pm.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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