FORMER UNF and Axemen standout player, Taylor Alley, is heading to Australia to play Rugby League for the Narooma Devils Rugby League Club.
The Devils are aligned with the Canberra Raiders (NRL) Professional Team, and the club has a proud history dating back to their foundation year of 1932. They are one of the strongest teams in their region, having tasted recent success in winning five of the last 10 championships.
Devils president, Jaimie Wright said that they plan to test Taylor to display his maximum ability and slot him into the first grade team playing in the Centres.
“I'm not trying to put too much pressure on the young fella but a position is available for him in firsts,” Jaimie said.
“We also hope Taylor takes back to America that he has had the time of his life, met some great people and made some lifelong friends, and most importantly gained more knowledge of our great game and return to the USA as a true asset in developing the sport over there.”
The Narooma Devils are no strangers to expecting high levels of results from their players and have produced guys like Chris Houston who plays for the Newcastle Knights in the NRL (National Rugby League).
Taylor Alley arrived at the Axemen after a rugby influence that dates back decades.
“I started playing rugby after being influenced by my dad who is in the Orlando Griffins Rugby HOF. The UNF Deadbirds were the first club I got the chance to play for starting as a freshman, then immediately following the season made the list for the Jacksonville Axemen League team where I learned tons,” Taylor said.
Taylor has spent the last four years playing almost year round because he was holding down a spot on the UNF Deadbirds University side and was a standout for the Axemen during the USA Rugby League season.
Over the last four years Taylor has been no stranger to success with many highlights that stand out.
“After seasons in and seasons out from league to union for four years, several moments stick out.
“Back to back USA Rugby south champions during 2012 and 2013 is probably one of the more memorable, followed by a Jacksonville Axemen 2012 National Championship, and also having the opportunity to captain the UNF Deadbirds during our final four appearance in Colorado of 2012,” Taylor said.
The Axemen are proud to be able to list Taylor as one of their players and pleased that they are able to assist with this experience.
“He is going to get to play Rugby League in a country where the game is played at the highest level, and also experience international culture and travel to some of the most incredible places on the planet,” President of the Jacksonville Florida Axemen, Spinner Howland said.
“He will come back to the USA with a wealth of new and improved Rugby League skills that we hope propels him to higher levels in the domestic game.
“But equally important, he has a chance to experience Australia on a very personal and in-depth level.
“He is a young man that is seizing a rare opportunity that he will remember and draw from for the rest of his life,” he said.
Taylor echoed those thoughts, “I plan to be a sponge and take in as much game knowledge as possible.
“Australia is the current Rugby League World Cup Champions and I plan to take complete advantage of being over there for myself as well as anything I can bring back to the US,” he said.
“But while league is on my mind now, after the season I look forward to being able to travel as far as my money will take me and see a whole different side of the world, as it may be a long time before I get to do anything like this again,” he said.