Taylan May withdraws Penrith legal claim, leaves club

Scott Bailey and Jasper Bruce |

Taylan May has dropped threats to sue and agreed a deal to leave NRL side Penrith.
Taylan May has dropped threats to sue and agreed a deal to leave NRL side Penrith.

Taylan May has scrapped plans to sue Penrith for attempting to terminate his NRL contract, instead accepting a payout to leave the club with immediate effect.

May officially became a free agent on Friday, when the stood-down centre was finally released from his contract following two show-cause notices.

It comes as the 22-year-old continues to fight domestic-violence charges, stemming from an alleged incident involving his wife on April 8.

May has pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of stalking.

AAP has been told May has already received interest from clubs locally and abroad, including in rugby union.

He has since been spotted training with Hull KR’s junior team in England, with his brother Tyrone at the Super League club.

Club officials have confirmed his appearance, but insisted to Rugby League Hub they are not poised to sign May.

The outside back has not played since he was charged in May, as part of the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.

Taylan May
Taylan May is no longer in the frame as a Penrith player. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

He is not due back in court until March 2025, and cannot play in the NRL until after the matter is finalised.

The centre could still sign with an NRL club while suspended and return to play, depending on the outcome of the legal proceedings.

While there is no set agreement between the NRL and Super League to apply the no-fault stand-down policy in England, it remains to be seen if any deal would be registered in the country.

May had re-signed with the Panthers in March, but the triple reigning premiers sought to terminate his contract during his stand-down.

The club issued the centre with a show-cause notice in May, relating to matters outside the domestic-violence charges.

That notice is believed to have included an October 2021 incident in Queensland, for which May was found guilty of assaulting a man during Penrith’s grand-final celebrations.

No conviction was recorded over that incident.

May also raised eyebrows when a video was posted to social media this year that appeared to show him in the passenger seat of a speeding car.

After a meeting between May and Penrith early last month, the club issued the centre with a second show-cause notice over the domestic-violence charges.

That prompted May to launch legal action in the Federal Court, seeking damages and compensation and claiming the Panthers had breached employment laws. 

On Friday, Penrith announced the player had accepted an undisclosed sum to leave the club at which he made his NRL debut in 2021.

AAP has confirmed the civil matter between May and the Panthers has been closed.

“Taylan May is departing the Penrith Panthers effective immediately and is seeking other opportunities,” Friday’s club statement said.

May played the last of his 30 games for the Panthers against Canterbury in round 10, with new recruit Paul Alamoti since firming as his first-choice replacement in the centres.

The club lured Asu Kepaoa from Wests Tigers mid-season as cover and also have young guns Jesse and Casey McLean available to play in the outside backs. 

AAP