Taylor ready for first Scotland start in 14 months
Scotland travel to face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday afternoon and one man who will be looking to make an impression is centre Duncan Taylor.
The 31-year-old will be making his first start for Scotland for almost 14 months and following an appearance off the bench against France almost a fortnight ago, the Saracens man can’t wait to pull on the Scotland shirt again.
It has been a frustrating few years for Taylor, who has endured a series of injuries, but speaking on this week’s Official Scottish Rugby Podcast he says his body is feeling good and he is ready to play his part on the international stage once more.
Taylor said: “My body felt good coming into this camp for a change and it has been nice to get properly stuck into training. I’m enjoying being around the boys.
“Over the years I’ve been exposed to quite a few different injuries and I’ve been able to bounce back from them. Not playing gives you so much gratuity when you do get to play and I think it gives you a different perspective on the game and every opportunity you get to go out and play rugby, you really appreciate that opportunity and you take it with both hands.
“Every time I’ve been injured you attack it with the attitude you’re going to come back better and stronger in every aspect you can and I think if you do manage to do that you have a chance of prolonging your career.
“When you pick up injuries your body does get time to rest and if you come back in better shape there is that chance of adding those extra years onto your career.
“It’s been great catching up with everyone, there are a few new coaches since I was last in, so to get to know them and a few of the new players has been great. There seems to be a really good buzz in camp, so it has been really enjoyable.”
Scotland haven’t won in Dublin since 2010 and Taylor knows how big a challenge Scotland face this weekend, when they take on a side coached by Andy Farrell, who was one of Taylor’s coaches at Saracens until 2012.
He added: “Andy Farrell is an all-round rugby thinker, he’s very talented in that sense and very switched on. He knows the game of rugby inside out and his all-round ability to coach is incredible and he has brought a great aspect to Ireland’s game in defence, attack and their kicking game as well.
“Whenever you play against Ireland it’s going to be a tough game and whenever you play against a team coached by Andy Farrell it’s always going to be a big challenge as well.
“Taking our chances [against Ireland] is going to be the most important thing. When we get down into their 22 or when we get set-piece attack, just trying to get some momentum and get on top of this team, because they’re a strong defensive side and they’ve proved hard to break down, so I think that’s going to be massive for us.
“They come up with different attack moves most weeks and they’re quite a hard team to read and study, because they always throw something new and unique in.
“I’m looking forward to the defensive side of it because it’s a challenge and it’s one of those you can’t really train for because you’re not sure what is coming.”Listen to the full interview with Duncan Taylor on this week’s Official Scottish Rugby Podcast.