GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Ashley Taylor of the Titans runs with the ball during the round one NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

He's the star that never was.

When Wayne Bennett handed Ash Taylor his maiden NRL jersey in 2015, the halfback was touted as the game's next big thing. Winning the Holden Cup Player of the Year the same season, Taylor was the future of the Brisbane Broncos.

A halves pairing of Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt took the club within seconds of a premiership that year, and all but ruled out any future Taylor had in a Brisbane jersey.

They say if you love something set it free, it applies the same for those you believe in, and Wayne isn't afraid to do so.

He allowed Taylor to walk to Queensland rivals the Gold Coast, meaning the then 20 year-old could play where he deserved to - the NRL.

He afforded Jai Arrow the same courtesy. His 2017 forward pack was loaded with talent, so much so Arrow joined Taylor at the Titans in a bid to get some minutes under the belt, and that they did.

Flash forward to the modern day and Taylor has fallen from the penthouse to the outhouse, his $1,000,000 a year salary long in the rearview mirror after some lacklustre years at the club, accepting a train and trial deal with the New Zealand Warriors for 2022.

Set to earn just $1000 a week, the pay packet is a fraction of what it was, but playing footy without big pressures might be just what the doctor ordered.

But why the Warriors?

The Wests Tigers swooped in late with a two-year offer, a deal Taylor ultimately rejected, with the Warriors decision to base themselves in Redcliffe for 2022 a massive deciding factor.

So has Taylor picked a train and trial in a bid to prove himself, or could the halfback be planning a reunion with former coach Wayne Bennett in 2023?

Bennett is expected to be officially unveiled as the Dolphins inaugural coach in the coming days, and Taylor is yet to earn a mention on the club's proposed hit list, with Cameron Munster, Kalyn Ponga and Harry Grant the names on everyone's lips.

The lack of genuine halfbacks off-contract at the end of 2022 adds fire to what could be one of the greatest rugby league comeback stories in recent years.

Bennett tried to lure Taylor back to Red Hill in 2017, only for Ash to re-sign until the end of 2021 with the Gold Coast. Wayne has already had a chance to link back up with Arrow at Redfern and take him to a grand final, and it's no secret that the master coach loves a challenge. He's turned around dozens of first-grade careers, what's one more?

He left Bennett with just 29 minutes of NRL experience to his name, and now carrying 113 games of first-grade to his name, it's time for one last Wayne Bennett career resurrection. And where better to do so than two hours east of your hometown of Toowoomba?

Time will tell, but it seems the Dolphins will have their first halfback sooner than they think.