Under-fire Titans half Ash Taylor has put his hand up to concede his form is not what it should be but still believes he could help solve the Maroons' injury woes if thrown an Origin debut.
Hampered by injury, Taylor’s underwhelming start to the season has contributed to Gold Coast’s disastrous 2-6 start but he has the chance to win back favour among fans when his side kicks off Magic Round against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.
The 24-year-old knows his current form doesn’t warrant selection but believes he could step up if Walters was to call out his name for the Holden State of Origin series opener on June 5.
"I think so. I just need to get a few more games under my belt to get my confidence back and my form back," Taylor said when asked whether he could fill the breach at No.7 if Daly Cherry-Evans was unavailable due to his leg injury.
"Time will tell. I’m just going to keep grinding. I am still a little bit away at the moment. I am only four games in to my 2019 season so I just need to keep stepping up.
"Last week I think I took a step forward with my game. I picked up a few niggles at the start of the year and it has been tough coming off the back of it. It has been hard to find that form again that I know I am capable of.
Titans v Sharks - Magic Round
"I’ve just not got 100 per cent trust in my body right now, but I feel as though last week I took a step in the right direction and hopefully the team can get back on track as well."
The pressure on Taylor to deliver a third win for the Titans has increased with Tyrone Roberts failing to recover in time from the concussion he suffered in last Friday night’s loss to the Cowboys.
It sees Taylor take the lead playmaking role alongside AJ Brimson in the halves and Roberts believes there were enough positive signs last Friday to suggest that Taylor is close to the form that made him the 2016 Dally M Rookie of the Year.
"He’s confident. He knows what he wants and what he needs to do, it’s just getting in the confidence in himself to do it," Roberts told NRL.com.
"He’s taking the line on a lot more and he’s starting to kick more which is good.
"At training and doing all the other stuff he’s been great.
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"Nothing’s changed, we’re just trying to keep his head strong and thinking about the game rather than what everyone is saying. At the end of the day it does take a toll on you if you keep reading it."
Given his slow start to the year Taylor – who was on the verge of Origin selection 12 months ago – has barely been mentioned.
With Cherry-Evans in doubt with an ankle problem, the Dragons’ Corey Norman nursing a fractured cheekbone and Ben Hunt the apparent solution to the decimated Queensland hooking ranks, an in-form Taylor could come into the frame for Kevin Walters’s team along with Michael Morgan and Anthony Milford.