League: Taylor left stunned by controversy

By Steve Deane

Elijah Taylor of the Warriors stunned to learn comments in support of Tony Iro was portrayed as an attack on Matthew Elliott by media. Photo / Getty Images
Elijah Taylor of the Warriors stunned to learn comments in support of Tony Iro was portrayed as an attack on Matthew Elliott by media. Photo / Getty Images

Elijah Taylor was stunned to learn that comments he had made last week in support of assistant coach Tony Iro had been portrayed by a Sydney newspaper - and subsequently in New Zealand - as an attack on new Warriors coach Matt Elliott.

Taylor's interview with media covering Saturday night's test defeat by the Kangaroos took place on Thursday morning - 22 hours before Elliott was unveiled as Warriors coach and several hours before speculation that Elliott had been appointed began to emerge.

Taylor was near speechless when informed by the Herald in the Kiwis' changing sheds after the 18-10 defeat how his comments had been mis-represented - and that Elliott had been grilled for his reaction to them in New Zealand.

While Taylor's Warriors club mates had been aware of the controversy that raged, Taylor had been deliberately kept in the dark so as not to disrupt his test preparation.

Asked if he would like time to compose himself before making a comment on the record, Taylor said he "needed to talk to Mr Scurrah [Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah] first".

A cone of silence around proceedings meant players were kept out of the loop, while there was also some angst at the lack of consultation.

"I'm not sure I'm allowed to say anything," was star halfback Shaun Johnson's reaction to a request for comment following the test match.

Johnson and Kevin Locke are understood to have been pulled into line by the club after expressing their disappointment via Twitter that Iro had been overlooked for the job for a second time.

Iro's reaction to the news Elliott had expressed a desire to retain him as assistant coach was measured.

"I'm due to meet with him [this] week," he said. "But there is a lot to think about."

If he does leave he won't be alone. Strength and conditioning manager Craig Walker is understood to have negotiated an exit to rejoin the Roosters, despite signing a three-year contract extension when Brian McClennan was appointed coach.

- NZ Herald

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