Ash Taylor is the key to the Titans. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images.
Ash Taylor is the key to the Titans. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images.

Taylor-made: Mal to get best out of Ash

MAL Meninga is the right man to bring out the best in Titans halfback Ash Taylor, according to former Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston.

The Gold Coast last week announced that Australian coach Meninga will join the club for the next three years as the head of performance and culture, in a move that is sure to boost the Titans on and off the field.

At the announcement last Wednesday, Meninga said he was not there to take over any aspect of the coaching from Garth Brennan.

However, even if he is not the coach, Thurston believes Meninga's influence on Taylor could help the Titans become the top-eight side that they long to be in 2019.

Meninga worked closely with Thurston for both the Maroons and the Kangaroos and the former half knows how important he can be for Taylor as the 23-year-old approaches his fourth full season in the NRL.

"It's a massive coup for the Titans to get someone of his stature," Thurston said of Meninga.

Will Taylor live up to the hype?
Will Taylor live up to the hype?

"Ash Taylor is the key to their success next year. Mal will have a massive influence on him and will know how to get the best out of him.

"That's what Mal does. He gets the best out of his playing group and the best out of the people around him.

"Ash Taylor will want to be more consistent with his footy and Mal will be able to help him do that."

Meninga's role at the club is wide-ranging and the former Canberra great said last week he would start by talking to every single person at the Titans so he could get a better idea of what needs to be done differently to boost the Gold Coast's potential.

Thurston said he expects to see an immediate change in culture at the club, as that is what Meninga does best.

"If it's a cultural role, he can add a lot," Thurston said.

"Mal's been involved in the game for a very long time and knows what different teams need to get out of their playing roster."