Feb 16, 2016
In Focus - Duncan Taylor
After starting his career at Bedford Blues before joining Saracens, Duncan Taylor has always had something of a low profile on the International stage. Now, aged 26, he is enjoying the form of his career. In this week’s In Focus we take a look at the Saracens and Scotland centre whose performance last weekend in Cardiff has made him the talk of Scottish rugby.
After a slightly nomadic upbringing, which featured time in Edinburgh, Buckinghamshire and Sydney, Taylor signed for Bedford Blues as a 17 year old. There he played his way up the rankings, spending two years with the Club’s colts side before graduating to their Championship team with who he reached the Championship semi-finals on two occasions. During his time with the Blues Taylor impressed, being nominated for Young Player of the Year award as well winning the Academy player of the year award during his time with the Club.
Stepping Up For Sarries
Duncan joined Saracens as a dual-registered player for the 2011/12 season and has since gone on to make 81 appearances for the North London side. Since joining Saracens Taylor has become known at the Club for his work rate and versatility and Mark McCall is one of the first to sing the centre’s praises: “Duncan is probably one of the game’s most underrated players. He can cover so many positions and I don’t think he gets the credit for the wonderful work he can do off the ball. His work-rate and contribution to this team is enormous”
After impressing for Saracens over the past four years Taylor has recently committed his future to the Club, signing a multi-year deal back in January. “To extend my contract here was such an easy decision to make” said Taylor at the time, “Saracens are such a great club filled with great people and great players, we’re doing well at the moment in all competitions and it’s such an enjoyable place to come to every day.” He also recognised how his time at Saracens has grown him as a player admitting “The club has helped me develop into the player I am today, and have put in so much work which has seen me improve both on and off the pitch. I thoroughly enjoy every minute playing alongside these boys and I’m delighted to have committed my long-term future to the club to continue to do that.”
The Scotland Stage Awaits
Qualified for Scotland through his parents, Duncan made his International debut against Samoa in 2013 yet of his 14 caps gained since, only five have come as part of the starting XV. Taylor missed the 2015 World Cup through a calf injury and has often round himself down the pecking order when it comes to Scotland selection. After coming off the bench against England at Murrayfield Duncan started against Wales last week and his performance has had the rugby world talking. A try saving tackle plus a try of his own were the cherries on the top of a stellar performance and Duncan will now be hoping to make a similar impact in Scotland’s crucial clash with Italy in two weeks time. In the words of backs coach Kevin Sorrell “He’s called SuperDunc for a reason because he’s just unbelievable…He was brilliant how he did it on a big stage…His performance at the weekend was tremendous”