Ash Taylor announces NRL retirement at 27, saying he ‘couldn’t stand up to play with my children’

Ash Taylor admits he knew it was time to close the curtains on his NRL career when he couldn’t stand up to play with his children.

Taylor announced his retirement on Tuesday having managed just one game for the Warriors in 2022, against his former club Gold Coast, and after experiencing pain like no other when just trying to play with his kids at a park.

The 27-year-old thanked his parents, family, three clubs and huge support group for their unwavering dedication, but his chronic hip-issues were just too much to keep going.

“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 and couldn’t stand up to play with my children,” he told reporters.

“This all happened so quickly. But I can’t thank the Warriors enough as a club for the way they have handled my situation.”

A former Brisbane, Gold Coast and Warriors five-eighth or halfback, Taylor played 116 games in rugby league’s top club competition, entering the NRL and winning the Dally M Rookie of the year in 2016.

Taylor was the 2016 NRL rookie of the year. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

He began with Brisbane’s under 20’s side in 2013, signing a three-year deal with the club before inking a deal with the Titans in 2016 in pursuit of first-grade opportunities.

Over a six-year period, Taylor made 114 appearances for Gold Coast scoring 18 tries and 327 points. He then signed a three-year, $3 million deal in 2017 making him one of the highest-paid players in the competition.

But at the end of 2020 he had hip surgery, and with his contract not renewed a year later the Warriors threw him a lifeline after a successful train and trial deal in October 2021.

But even before his debut he had to take anti-inflammatory and pain medication just to take the field.

“I was on a modified program over the pre-season but then once I sort of started getting closer towards the season, it sort of started affecting me more,” he said.

“I was taking more anti-inflammatories to keep up with the elite level training and playing.”

What the immediate future holds for Taylor remains unclear, with interests in teaching and guiding Indigenous children in his hometown of Toowoomba.

Ash Taylor kicks a ball against the Sharks
Taylor played the majority of his NRL career with the Titans. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

But for now, some stability and time away with his family comes first.

“It’s time for me and my family to get settled back home in Toowoomba and me and my partner will both get prepared to be back in the workforce,” he said.

“But any (Indigenous) programs that they have coming up I want to be a part of, I want to be a part of the community and I want to be a trusted source for the community to come to if they need to seek help with that anything.”


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