Meninga lays it on line for Coal Train Dave Taylor
MAROONS coach Mal Meninga has put late inclusion Dave Taylor on notice.
The Coal Train was hustled into Queensland's camp on the Gold Coast yesterday morning after the shock withdrawal of Brisbane forward Corey Parker.
The veteran lock was ruled out after suffering a fractured eye socket in some friendly fire from Broncos team mate Matt Gillett during the 28-4 win over the Raiders in Canberra on Monday night.
But Meninga didn't sugar coat Taylor's call-up, saying if the 122kg back-rower was given a spot on Queensland's bench for the return game against NSW in Sydney next Wednesday night, he would need to aim up.
"He hasn't done a job for us in the past to be honest with you," said Meninga, adding Taylor would need to follow the game plan and do what was asked of him.
Taylor has not donned a Maroons jumper since the second game of the 2012 series. He was dumped for that year's deciding third game at Suncorp Stadium after fronting up to training with his head wrapped in bandages, informing the amused media he'd cut his head open after falling out his hotel bed.
Meninga said he wanted to see a lot more out of Taylor if he cracked the 17-man squad which faces the challenge of saving the series in Sydney.
"He's been playing really good football for his club and he gets a bit of a second sniff so hopefully he's going to grab it," said Meninga, who added he had been impressed with Taylor's work rate and attitude this season.
"He's been starting, his efforts with the ball have been tremendous, he's hard to handle, he is offloading and defensively he's been much better this year."
Most of the focus at yesterday's meet the media session at the team's training camp at Sanctuary Cove was on injured halfback Daly Cherry-Evans who is clearly racing the clock to be fit for game two.
"At the moment, confident is not a word I'd use. I'm hopeful, that's probably a better word," said Cherry-Evans, who was hobbling and looked anything but confident.
Greg Inglis (ankle) and Billy Slater (shoulder) are still also in doubt, Meninga saying he would not put a fitness deadline on the players and trusted them to make the call themselves.