I read with interest your RLW All-Rookie team in your September 29 issue. You installed Nathan Cleary as the halfback but omitted Titans half Ashley Taylor altogether. Unlike Cleary, Taylor played the entire year for the Gold Coast and was instrumental in getting them into the finals against all the odds. While Cleary is undoubtedly a great talent, I think you made an error by not recognising the fact that Taylor had a bigger body of work this year and arguably played much of the year in a team with less overall talent than what Cleary had behind him at Penrith. Why did you choose to omit Taylor?
SAYS: You’ve pinpointed one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make in the magazine all year. Cleary got the nod based on our assessment of his form this year, and based on that we believe he just — and we mean only just — shaded Taylor as the best rookie No.7 in the NRL. There was a struck match in it and any fan would be happy to have either player in their team.