My Ultimate Team: Elijah Taylor names his greatest 1-17 from players he played alongside

George Riley
Elijah Taylor My Ultimate Team

Former New Zealand international Elijah Taylor is our latest guest on My Ultimate Team, this season’s new feature on Love Rugby League.

The back-row forward is now with ambitious League 1 side Oldham, having represented the Kiwis, New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers and the Wests Tigers in the NRL, and captained Super League outfit Salford.

Taylor came through the ranks at the Warriors, breaking into the side in 2011 before signing a four-year deal with Penrith. He went on to join the Tigers in 2016 where he made 80 appearances before moving to the UK in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League, Taylor picked his ultimate XVII of players he played alongside during his career..

1. James Tedesco

James Tedesco Wests Tigers Alamy

What a player, he has great feet, crazy feet. Defensively he has good positioning, and is a very loud full-back, dominant in communication. He got his numbers right all the time, was always there and could make something out of nothing.

2. David Nofoaluma

David Nofoaluma Wests Tigers Alamy

Salford’s new signing is big on yardage carries. He would average around 260m when I played with him at Wests and 10 tackle busts. He is the player you want to see catching the ball on the full and bringing it back. He had good feet and saved us so many times.

INSIDE THE DEAL: How Salford Red Devils secured the signing of David Nofoaluma

 3. Tim Lafai

Tim Lafai Salford Red Devils Alamy

Hard to handle, a finisher with great feet and a good fend. He is a centre who can put his winger away and is defensively sound. He makes great defensive decisions and with his yardage carriers he can break so many tackles and skip across the defensive line. 

4. Dean Whare

Dean Whare Penrith Panthers Alamy

Another great defensive player with a great step. A finisher and like Tim he can put his winger away. His yardage carries in his prime were one of the best.

5. Josh Mansour

Josh Mansour Penrith Panthers Alamy

His yardage carries were insane – he was averaging 270m at Penrith in 2014. You could always rely on him, if we were 10m out and he had the ball it was a guaranteed try. He was the joker of the team and all the lads hammered him but all the boys loved him at Penrith.

6. Jamie Soward

Jamie Soward Penrith Panthers Alamy

When he was confident he was unstoppable. Untouchable in 2014, his kicking game was a great feature, talk, communication and leadership. When he was confident he was so dangerous when he ran the ball.

 7. Marc Sneyd

Marc Sneyd Salford Red Devils Alamy

Probably the best kicking game I have ever seen. I only played one season with Sneydy but if he came to the NRL he would be a household name for his kicking game, his game management and his leadership.

ANALYSIS: Marc Sneyd needs to be studied – Salford Red Devils star’s kicking game is like gold dust

8. James Fisher-Harris

James Fisher-Harris Penrith Panthers Alamy

Probably the best forward to ever come out of New Zealand. His resume speaks for himself, he is still young and I think there is still more to come for him. He will be a captain for an NRL club and become even more dominant. No other Kiwi player comes close to his resume.

9. Tommy Leuluai

Tommy Leuluai New Zealand Alamy

A great friend of mine. Since my first Kiwis camp I always looked up to Tommy. Tough as nails, he could put a shot on, looking at what he has achieved is crazy and he is a legend here in the UK.

10. Ben Matulino

Ben Matulino New Zealand Warriors Alamy

I came through the Warriors system with him and he always looked after the young fellas. He never changed when we got to first-grade and was always the same. We played against him through the junior ranks and he always led the way for the Warriors players.

11. Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams New Zealand Alamy

Just a freak. If you had to make a rugby player in a science lab you would make Sonny Bill. Attitude, work ethic and skill level all crazy.

12. Kallum Watkins

Kallum Watkins Salford Red Devils Alamy

Just silky. Leadership, his achievements at Leeds.. Dominant centre for England for so long, debuted at 16 and is still playing now and captain at Salford. I have so much respect for him.

13. Danny Addy

Danny Addy Salford Red Devils Alamy

First met him in 2021 and what a skill-base he has. If Danny Addy was in the NRL he would be a household name. His skill level means he can do anything – kicking, passing, ball playing, half or hooker, there is nothing he can’t do.

MY ULTIMATE TEAM: Joel Tomkins names his greatest 1-17 from players he played alongside


14. Isaah Yeo

Isaah Yeo Penrith Panthers Alamy

I played with him at Penrith in 2014 and you always knew he was going to be a top player. He has developed into a fine captain and leader. Work ethic, training ethic and humility. 

15. Craig Kopczak

Craig Kopczak Featherstone Rovers 2023 Alamy

If there was ever a yardage carry or you needed to start your set well you could always rely on Koppy to get those metres. He always puts on shots as well and is 37 and still killing it. 

16. John Davies

John Davies Featherstone Rovers Alamy

JD from Featherstone. He could do anything, I can’t believe he has not played much Super League because he is another freak who can do anything. Skilful, can ball play, fast, good defensively. His skill level is crazy.

17. Jesse Bromwich

Jesse Bromwich New Zealand Alamy

I played against him coming through at Melbourne in the Under-20s. I have always admired Jesse in the Kiwis camps. He is down to earth and looks at his achievements. 

READ NEXT: My Ultimate Team: Kyle Amor names his greatest XIII from players he played alongside