Jason Taylor (rugby league)
|Born||2 February 1971|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||173 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||72 kg (11 st 5 lb)|
Jason Taylor (born 2 February 1971) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and a former player. He was the assistant coach of the Sydney Roosters in 2018 when the club won the premiership that year. He was also previously the head coach of the Parramatta Eels, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers clubs in the National Rugby League (NRL). A New South Wales State of Origin representative goal-kicking halfback of the 1990s and early 2000s, Taylor set a number of point-scoring and appearance records in the National Rugby League during a twelve-year career with the Western Suburbs Magpies, North Sydney Bears, Northern Eagles and Parramatta Eels.
Taylor spent his junior years at Green Valley JRLFC and the Ashcroft Stallions JRLFC, in Sydney's south-western suburbs. He first attended Ashcroft High School before spending his late teenage years St Gregory's College, Campbelltown.
Taylor played for Sydney's Western Suburbs Magpies from 1990 to 1993. Starting from the bench for the first 2 games of the 1990 season, Taylor spent most of the season playing five-eighth outside Ivan Henjak. Still a teenager, he was often called "baby-faced". In what was a poor season for the Magpies, Taylor was described as "the best of the babies" in the NRL for the season.
1991 saw the arrival of coach Warren Ryan and big-name players Andrew Farrar, David Gillespie and Paul Langmack at the Magpies. Taylor, now playing halfback, lead the team to its first semi-finals in nine years after starring in a play-off for fifth spot.
Wests made the semis again in 1992, but Taylor was temporarily benched mid-season. Ongoing conflict with Warren Ryan saw Taylor seeking an early release from his contract. The release was not granted and Taylor remained for the 1993 season. Taylor said, "The press came up with some interesting reasons why I wanted to leave, but I prefer to keep most of them to myself because they have been pretty well resolved. One reason, however, was I thought our style of play was too restrictive, too structured and by the end of the year, very predictable. I wasn't the only player to think that way.
Ryan stated in 1993, "I've made every effort to rectify the things that were buggering him up last year. I did the same thing with Benny Elias when I was at Balmain. Jason is very, very talented mentally. We've rectified the problem we had and taken every step to resurrect his game. And to his credit when we told him he wouldn't be released he wasn't negative at all. He's done a lot of sprint work and he's worked hard." Later that season, Ryan suspended Taylor from first grade after an "outburst" aimed at teammate Paul Langmack at half-time in a match. The Wests Magpies board later overturned the suspension.
In 1993, Taylor made his representative debut with City Origin, playing from the bench. Described as, "the form player of the premiership" in 1994, Country Rugby League general manager David Barnhill claimed that Taylor should be eligible to play for the Country side due to his time spent at St. Gregorys. He ended up playing halfback for City for the next two years.
Taylor was also selected to play for the New South Wales team in the 1993 State of Origin series. He was chosen on the bench for all three games, but did not take the field in the first game of the series. Coach Phil Gould said, "if anything happened to Ricky we needed a capable and experienced halfback to go in with a similar game-type to Ricky. Jason's kicking and passing game is along the same lines and would allow fellows like Daley and Fittler the same room as if they were playing with Ricky."
Taylor played with the North Sydney Bears from 1994 to 1999, While at North Sydney, Taylor played a pivotal role in the team and set numerous records. Taylor also won The Rothmans medal in 1996 as being the game's best and fairest player. Taylor has scored more points for the North Sydney Bears than any other player to have been at the club with 1274 points.
In January 1997, Taylor was escorted from The SCG following unruly behavior at an Australian Cricket match. It was alleged that Taylor and some of his North Sydney teammates had been backing up from a bucks party the night before when they proceeded to urinate in plastic cups and throw it over patrons during a Mexican wave. Taylor was then axed as an Australia Day ambassador by Central Coast organisers.
In The 1997 preliminary final against The Newcastle Knights, Taylor missed 3 out of 5 conversions in North Sydney's 17-12 defeat. The most crucial when scores were locked at 12-12 after Taylor set up Michael Buettner for a try moments before. With 3 minutes remaining, Norths had a chance to play in their first grand final in 54 years if Taylor could kick that goal. The normally reliable Taylor missed the conversion and Newcastle player Matthew Johns went down the other end of the field and kicked a field goal to make it 13-12. With seconds remaining Norths frantically threw the ball around the field, Owen Craigie swooped on a loose pass and raced away to score the match winning try to make it 17-12. This was North Sydney's 4th preliminary final defeat in 6 years.
Without a club for the next year, Taylor wrote a letter to Parramatta Eels coach Brian Smith and joined the club for the 2001 season. His performance that year was described as, "close to the greatest comeback ever in big-time rugby league." Taylor's last ever match was for Parramatta at halfback in their 2001 NRL grand final loss to the Newcastle Knights.
Whilst at Parramatta Taylor set a new point-scoring record, breaking Daryl Halligan's mark of 2,034. Between 1992 and 2000 (and across three clubs) Taylor played 194 games in succession, also a standing record, 20 games clear of Hazem El Masri's 174.
Taylor retired with the record for most career points in the National Rugby League and its predecessors. He scored 2,107 first grade career points, a mark later surpassed by Newcastle Knights halfback Andrew Johns in July 2006, then again by Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri in March 2009. He retired holding the record for most first grade career goals at 942 and was the Australian Rugby League's top point-scorer in seasons 1996 and 1997. He was awarded the Rothmans Medal in 1996.
Previously the assistant coach at the Parramatta Eels, he was appointed as head coach in May 2006 for the remainder of the season after Brian Smith left the club following the announcement of his sacking for season 2007. It was already planned that from 2007 Taylor was to join the South Sydney Rabbitohs as an assistant coach. In August 2006, it was announced he would replace Shaun McRae as head coach of the struggling South Sydney club. In his first year at Souths he took them to a top eight finish qualifying them for the finals. It was the first time since 1989 that Souths reached the finals.
On 17 September 2009 it was announced that Taylor had been sacked as coach by the club due to an altercation with second-rower David Fa'alogo during end-of-season celebrations. A visibly upset Taylor appeared on the NRL Footy Show later that evening and on a number of sport programs on Sydney radio in the following days to explain his conduct and subsequent dismay at his sacking.
In 2011, Taylor returned to coaching with the Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup team. His team made the semis in both 2011 and 2012. With the sacking of Brian Smith at the end of 2012, Taylor was appointed assistant coach to new first grade coach Trent Robinson for the 2013 season.
On 20 March 2017 Taylor was sacked as Wests Tigers coach. After being terminated by Wests Tigers, it was revealed that Taylor was relieved of his duties partly due to poor results on the field but also for the fact that what the media had described as "The Big 4" at the club would not sign new contracts if Taylor was still the coach going forwards into the future. Taylor's time at Wests was also marred by an ugly feud with long time player Robbie Farah and resulted in Farah being demoted to reserve grade and then subsequently leaving the club altogether. On 8 May 2017, the Sydney Roosters confirmed that Jason Taylor will be on-boarded as an assistant coach. Roosters coach, Trent Robinson, quickly clarified that Mr Taylor would be an assistant to the coach.
- NRL Stats Archive Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Rugby League Project Coaching
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- "Gillespie leads Magpie attack for $200,000". Canberra Times. 10 February 1993. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Alan Whiticker. "Jason Taylor". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Gillis, Steve (7 July 1993). "Magpies At War". Rugby League Week. Sydney, NSW: ACP Publishing. p. 13.
- Paul Kent (21 March 1993). "Taylor's second chance". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 64.
- Daniel Williams (1 July 1993). "Wests deny push is on for Ryan's scalp". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 48.
- Mascord, Steve (19 April 1994). "COUNTRY ORIGIN'S POACH BID FOR TAYLOR". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- MacDonald, John (26 April 1993). "BLUES UNVEIL THEIR LETHAL WEAPONS". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- Peter Sterling (30 September 2001). "Freeze It Right There". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
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- Aubrey, Jane (10 October 2001). "2001: Bennett's Coup - 'Operation Alfie'". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Why Taylor got the top job at Souths". The Sydney Morning Herald. 31 August 2006.
- Taylor at a loss to explain sacking - League - Sport - news.ninemsn.com.au Archived 22 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Former South Sydney coach Jason Taylor to coach Sydney Roosters' Toyota Cup side". Courier Mail. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Greg Prichard (14 September 2012). "Taylor appointed assistant coach at Roosters". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Wests Tigers announce new head coach, NRL.com official website, 29 September 2014
- "Wests Tigers statement". Wests Tigers official website. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
Darryl Halligan (2000)
Most points in an NRL career
2001 (2,035) - 2006 (2,107)
Andrew Johns (2006)
Parramatta Eels (caretaker)
South Sydney Rabbitohs