THE Tigers have announce the re-signing of experienced forward Elijah Taylor on a two year deal.
The 26-year-old former Panther is coming off a strong season and was delighted to commit to the club until at least the end of 2018.
“I’m really happy to have extended my contract with Wests Tigers,” said Taylor.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“It’s really important for us to get the hard work done now, roll up the sleeves and prepare well for the upcoming season.”
Head Coach Jason Taylor didn’t hide his excitement to have the experienced forward on board.
“We are all very happy that Elijah has re-signed with the club,” said Jason Taylor.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe praised Taylor’s commitment to the club and was excited for what the future holds for both club and player.
“As our Members and fans witnessed during the back half of the 2016 season, Elijah considerably strengthened our roster and we are really excited to have him extend his time with the club,” said Pascoe.
“Elijah is a player of high calibre and a real asset to our club – he has represented his country on a number of occasions and possesses the attributes, both on and off the field, that we value at Wests Tigers.
“I’m sure that Wests Tigers Members and fans will be excited by the retention of Elijah, which is another strong indication that the Club is moving in a positive direction.
Taylor has played a total of 121 NRL games since making his debut for the New Zealand Warriors in 2011, including 15 games for Wests Tigers.
Taylor has also represented New Zealand on 10 occasions and was named in the Kiwis’ Four Nations train-on squad after an impressive finish to 2016.