Retiring NRL star Ash Taylor has opened up about the moment he knew his time in the game was up.
Taylor announced his retirement on Tuesday having managed just one game for the Warriors in 2022, against his former club the Titans.
The 27-year-old - who also played for the Brisbane Broncos during a 116-game NRL career - was forced to give up the game he loves due to chronic hip-issues.
Taylor thanked his parents, family, three clubs and huge support group for their unwavering dedication, but said trying to manage the pain became too difficult.
The gifted half said he knew he had to make the tough decision to give away the game when a routine visit to the park with his kids left him unable to stand properly.
"I knew my time in the game was coming to a standstill after playing my recent match and going to the park the next day and couldn't stand up to play with my children," he told reporters.
"This all happened so quickly. But I can't thank the Warriors enough as a club for the way they have handled my situation."
A former Brisbane, Gold Coast and Warriors five-eighth or halfback, Taylor played 116 games in rugby league's top club competition, entering the NRL and winning the Dally M Rookie of the year in 2016.
He began with Brisbane's under 20's side in 2013, signing a three-year deal with the club before inking a deal with the Titans in 2016 in pursuit of first-grade opportunities.
Over a six-year period, Taylor made 114 appearances for Gold Coast scoring 18 tries and 327 points. He then signed a three-year, three-million-dollar deal in 2017 making him one of the highest paid players in the competition.
But at the end of 2020 he had hip surgery, and with his contract not renewed a year later the Warriors threw him a lifeline after a successful train and trial deal in October 2021.
Pain became too much to manage for Ash Taylor
But even before his debut he had to take anti-inflammatory and pain medication just to take the field.
"I was on a modified program over the pre-season but then once I sort of started getting closer towards the season, it sort of started affecting me more," he said.
"I was taking more anti inflammatories to keep up with the with the elite level training and playing."
What the immediate future holds for Taylor remains unclear, with interests in teaching and guiding Indigenous children in his home town of Toowoomba.
But for now, some stability and time away with his family comes first.
"It's time for me and my family to get settled back home in Toowoomba and me and my partner will both get prepared to be back in the workforce," he said.
"But any (Indigenous) programs that they have coming up I want to be a part of, I want to be a part of the community and I want to be a trusted source for the community to come to if they need to seek help with that anything."
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