Elijah Taylor is a New Zealand rugby union player playing for the second row, third row, or hooker. The player built a reputation as a hard-working back-rower who can also slot in at hooker when required from his profession in the NRL, which started back at the New Zealand Warriors.
Despite playing union as an All Black-worshipping youngster in his native New Zealand, it was Sonny Bill Williams and the 2004 Bulldogs side that honed his appetite for rugby league and helped him to join the Warriors 3 years later in 2007. He made his international bow in his debut NRL season, after coming through the Warriors system, and went on to impress at Penrith and the Tigers – gardening a score of 25 tries in 186 games. Here are 10 facts about the man who plays rugby and can also drive a plane!
Elijah Taylor: 10 Things About His Career, Biography, Achievements and Personal Life
1. NRL debut:
He made his National Rugby League (“ NRL”) debut with the New Zealand Warriors in the 2011 season.
2. He was a finalist of the NRL in 2013 with New Zealand:
Elijah Taylor scored goals for the rugby league at the highest level in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) as a New Zealand international.
3. 2014 to 2016:
Elijah Taylor then continued his career at Penrith in 2014 and then at the Wests Tigers from 2016.
At the completion of the 2020 season, Taylor’s five-year association with Wests Tigers ended and the player then shifted to the Super League.
The rugby player came into this world on February 27th, 1990.
He was born in Hawera which is in New Zealand.
5. Playing for his country:
Elijah Taylor also donned the jersey of New Zealand with which he is a finalist of the World Cup 2013.
Later in 2017, Elijah Taylor played 11 Tests for New Zealand and was part of the World Cup squad once again.
6. The weight of betrayal on his shoulders since 2018:
The 31-year-old New Zealander discovered his player-manager Ian Miles had misappropriated $400,000 (£211,000) from his personal account
A man he thought of as like a father was stealing from him over the course of his career, so he demanded justice in court.
7. Elijah Taylor’s life then took a turn for the worse:
By last November 2020, it took four years for justice to be served.
He was supposed to be victorious when a judgement awarded the rugby player damages, costs and money owed in excess of $400,000.
However, the player’s ex-manager and father figure Ian Milesfiled for bankruptcy prior to the case, leaving Elijah Taylor with little chance of recovering even a cent!
8. Throughout the stressful process, the power of faith has been a bedrock:
Elijah Taylor told BBC Sport that he would be extremely angry and lost it, done stupid things had he not known Christ or followed him. He said: “But having forgiveness, it’s given me a steady headspace. It’s helped me through the last four years. “In my career I’ve been blessed, I’ve played first-grade NRL at a high level, I don’t have anything to complain about,” he continued.
“But when you think about the $400,000, you just think ‘man’. And I’ve never seen a dollar of that.”
“It took me four years to get to the court case, and to get the judgement which is something I was always confident of getting, was kind of a weight off the shoulder to prove I’m right,” he told BBC Sport
“But thinking someone you trusted, you took on honeymoon because he was like a dad to me, you think to yourself, ‘How can people do that? How do they sleep at night?’
“But we’re content, as long as we’ve got a place to stay and clothes, as the Bible says. I’ve got a beautiful family. We’ve just moved to a new country, I’m very privileged to do what I do, and we’re content,” he added in his interview with BBC Sport.
9. Perhaps it was his faith that led him to Jerusalem:
The New Zealand rugby union player has Jerusalem on his bucket list of places to visit while in England as it is more easily accessible than from Australia.
“As a Christian I’d love to go to Jerusalem and I’d also love to go to Egypt”, he told BBC sport.
While he was in England, he spoke about the experience of traveling saying: “A lot of players that have come here, I spoke to them in the NRL, were saying travel is a really good thing when you come to England, all the countries are pretty close,” Taylor continued in his interview.
10. He joined Super League English side Salford for 2020 and 2021:
Taylor signed for English Super League team Salford on a two-year deal on 28 December 2020.
Here, he was able to pair up with former teammates Tui Lolohea, Krisnan Inu & Sebastine Ikahihifo, giving the Hawera-born back-rower and his family a fresh start.
“I was at the Tigers for a long time, and when you’ve been somewhere that length of time you get comfortable, people know what you can do,” Taylor said to BBC Sport.
“But coming to a new competition, and a new team, you’ve got to prove yourself and I’ve got to keep doing that, earn players respect, the captain’s respect and the coach’s respect…..I can only do that by working hard for my teammates which I’ve done in the past and will do the same here”, he continued.
Most people in the sports field need to be level-headed to deal with the pressure of competition, but in Elijah Taylor’s case, he also had to deal with physical and mental trauma. Physically, he’s had shoulder, rib, and pectoral injuries keeping him off the paddock over the last 4 years. Mentally, his manager did him dirty, but we can all learn through Elijah Taylor that being level-headed and positive about going into a new chapter, is life’s biggest victory.