Season on the line for Manawatu Turbos hooker Travis Taylor

Travis Taylor was named the Manawatu Turbos' rookie of the year in 2016.
Elias Rodriguez

Travis Taylor was named the Manawatu Turbos' rookie of the year in 2016.

Manawatu Turbos' hooker Travis Taylor's season is in doubt as he continues to battle an on-going hip injury.

The 22-year-old will visit a specialist on Thursday to determine the seriousness of the injury that has seen him sidelined for the start of the club season.

"It is pretty unknown what is going on there at the moment," Taylor said.

"Worst case scenario is that I will need surgery straight away and it might be the rest of the season finished. Best case scenario is that it is not too serious and I can be back playing in a couple of weeks."

Following on from a break-out campaign last year, Taylor said the injury was frustrating.

"It was a great experience in professional rugby. I was pretty nervous at the start, but at the end of it I was just excited for this year. So [the injury] is a bit of a kick in the guts," he said.

"But injuries happen and you can't help it. It is just another challenge and I will keep going once it comes right."

He said it was important to deal to his hip now so it doesn't get any worse.

"I am still young and I want the best for my body. If it is going to keep deteriorating and get worse, I am only going to keep struggling. So this is just to see what it is and how I can fix it."

Taylor's transfer from Varsity to Feilding helped set a platform for his emergence last year.

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With regular game time at Yellows, he caught the eye of Turbos coach Jeremy Cotter and continued to impress in his opportunities in the preseason.

He started the season third in the Turbos' hooker peaking order, but was top of the pile come the end of the season.

He ended up playing seven games for the side, picking up a brace of tries against Hawke's Bay.

One of his best traits was his reliable lineout throwing.

Taylor said repetition and building a good combination with his locks was the key to lineout throwing. 

"As soon as I manage to get a combination with a lock, I notice I seem to throw a lot better because I know where they are going to be," he said.

Playing provincial rugby opened Taylor's eyes to a part of rugby he was new to, the in-depth analysis and game-planning for opposition teams.

"That is where it gets really exciting, when we start putting in plans for things like lineout moves. In other rep teams I have played for, you don't analyse other opposition to the standard that we did."

Taylor is one of two hookers already contracted to the Turbos for 2017 alongside Hunter Prescott.

Three fit hookers will likely be needed for the season.

Last year's other hooker Tim Cadwallader has been largely used at prop in club rugby so far this year, while the form hooker of the club competition so far has been Nick Grogan, who had a messy break-up with the team over the contracting process last year.

Other options include 2016 New Zealand Under 20s trialist Max Fryatt and 2017 trialist Chris Cairns.

 - Stuff

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