For some time now, Wests Tigers fans have been waiting for Elijah Taylor re-sign and hoping that the club could sort something out.
The wait is over as the club have announced the re-signing of the veteran forward for a further two seasons, as many fans express their jubilation at the decision.
The Kiwi international and Otahuhu Leopards junior has played a total of 121 NRL games since his debut with former side the New Zealand Warriors in 2011, 15 of which have come for the Tigers.
Taylor admits that he wanted to stay at the club and that it did take a while to get things sorted but he is pleased the contract is finalised.
“I’m really happy to have extended my contract with Wests Tigers,” Taylor said.
“It’s a great Club, there’s a lot of potential and some really great young players here.
“Staying at Wests Tigers was something that I’d wanted to do for a while, so it’s good to have that all sorted now.”
Taylor also praised the club for their support and his team-mates, making the decision to stay an even easier one.
“It didn’t take me too long to settle in here at the Club, the boys were all really welcoming and the coaching staff really believed in me and supported me,” Taylor said.
“I really enjoyed that aspect and it made my transition so much easier, so to now get a pre-season under my belt with the team will really help going into 2017.”
“It’s been really eye-opening to play with some of these young guys, they have a lot of confidence and their enthusiasm really rubs off on you as an older player.”
With both club and player happy to see everything sorted, coach Jason Taylor knows how valuable Taylor is to the side.
“We are all very happy that Elijah has re-signed with the Club,” he said.
“It’s something that we have been working on for a long while and we’ve been really keen to ensure that we were able to get it sorted. We’ve done that now and Elijah is really happy about it, so we are all really excited about him having a full pre-season with us.”
With a full pre-season ahead for Taylor, the coach is confident that he can perform even better as he becomes more familiar with the club systems.
“I think a lot of people forget that he only joined us mid-season, so to have this pre-season with us and really get a deep understanding of what we are doing is really going to add to his contribution on the field,” said coach Taylor.
“Allowing him to work really closely with the guys over the pre-season is going to mean that he is going to be more comfortable when we get out there for Round 1, and so are the guys around him.
“The way he developed those combinations within the group in a short period was really impressive, but to get a pre-season to work on it is going to make it even better, so we couldn’t be happier,” he said.