After a 2019 to forget, the fitness and attitude of Ash Taylor has his NRL teammates excited about the year ahead for the Gold Coast halfback.
Taylor managed 10 first grade games for the Titans last year as form and off-field issues took their toll on the 24-year-old.
After taking a break from the game for personal reasons, Taylor returned to the NRL in August only for his first game back to end in a 58-6 mauling by the Sydney Roosters at the SCG.
It would be his final NRL match of the year as he ended the season playing for Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Queensland Cup.
The arrival of new coach Justin Holbrook has brought a renewed energy to the Titans and veteran forward Kevin Proctor believes it is bringing out the best in Taylor.
"He's come back in a really good mindset. He's put his head down and bum up," Proctor said.
"This is as fit as I've seen him look. He's really enjoying his footy at the moment as well.
"Hopefully he keeps that up and keeps it into the season."
Taylor's woes often left young gun AJ Brimson carrying the load in the halves last season.
Brimson played halfback, five-eighth and fullback across 21 matches in 2019 but has been told by Holbrook to focus on the No.1 jersey in 2020.
But he believes if Taylor's mentor Tyrone Roberts can avoid the niggling injuries that restricted him to 15 matches last year, they loom as a potentially devastating combination for the Titans.
"Obviously we know how Ash and Tyrone can play together and we've seen glimpses this pre-season when they're both healthy and fit on the field together - they look good," Brimson said.
Australian Associated Press