Taylor dumps Farah to reserve grade
PLAYERS have been plucked out of reserve grade to play Origin, but in its 36-year history none have featured in an Origin win and then been dumped to reserve grade by their NRL club coach.
Not until now that is.
The long-running feud between New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah and coach Jason Taylor has been re-ignited, with the Wests Tigers mentor ditching the NSW vice-captain from his side to play the Dragons this weekend.
Taylor, though, insists it is not personal, despite their history.
He says Farah can fight his way back and that the selection decision is based on what is best for the balance of the young team.
“I have been brought here to make some tough decisions. I believe the team is better off without him,” Taylor said.
“This is about team performance and professional sport, and nobody is guaranteed a place in the team.
“This is a big step, we need to see how it goes.”
It is understood Taylor wants young players Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks and fullback James Tedesco to have more influence in running the team.
He believes Farah disrupts that balance.
However, it is amazing to think that 11 days after helping NSW beat Queensland in the third Origin game, the club’s highest-paid player will be running out against the Newtown Jets at Concord.
The ongoing rift began when Taylor first axed Farah last August – a move that sparked a massive fan backlash.
Taylor named Farah in his NRL side on Tuesday, but after training, before a video session, told him he would be dropped again.
Farah, who trained with the reserve-grade side yesterday, left training and did not attend Taylor’s video session.
The Tigers are still in the hunt for a top-eight spot and finals action, sitting in 11th place on 20 points, the same as the Titans, Warriors, Panthers and Sunday’s opponent, the Dragons.
A win on the weekend would help Taylor keep the critics at bay.
A loss would put him under pressure to return Farah to the No.9 jumper.