Taylor's Origin lifeline
THE Maroons' mounting injury toll has provided a lifeline to former Blackwater Junior Crusher Dave Taylor.
Taylor was called into Queensland's squad for State of Origin Game 2 on Wednesday after incumbent forward Corey Parker was forced to withdraw with a facial facture.
Parker suffered the injury in a clash with Brisbane Broncos teammate Matt Gillett in their match against the Canberra Raiders on Monday night.
But Parker's misfortune has been Taylor's blessing, and the silver lining will be the Gold Coast Titan's first shot at Origin action in two years.
Taylor's former Blackwater Junior Crushers coach Lionel Hopes believes he was deserving of the call-up to the squad.
"He's definitely come good at the right time of the year," Hopes said.
"I'd play him at second row…. I think he'd go alright."
Hopes said bringing Taylor in would make the maroons a stronger side if he was given a free reign on the field.
"I think it'll be a lot better," he said.
"When he's structured, I don't think he plays his best football.
"I don't know how Meninga and that think."
He has noticed a maturation in Taylor's game this season.
"He seems to be keener to get to the tackle," he said.
"A while back there he was sort of hanging back.
"He's worked pretty hard over the last year.
"I've seen most of his games.
"He's had a few good games this year."
Hopes is confident Taylor has the potential to be a key player at Origin level.
"He's done it before so I don't see why he couldn't do it again," he said.
"He's still improving, his best is yet to come.
"He's got to be more consistent."