Duncan Taylor: Making A Statement
Centre Duncan Taylor has battled back from injury to make it into Scotland’s Rugby World Cup 2019 squad. We caught up with him about the road to fitness and his expectations for Scotland's opening match against Ireland.
On how close he is to full match sharpness having started two warm-up Tests following a year’s absence:
“I feel like I’m pretty much there. I was pretty confident that I was there going into the France game anyway, just with the level of training over the last few months. It’s been pretty intense. As far as being at my best or my fittest, I feel like I am just about there.
“The intensity of the training in the last few months has pretty much tested everything. Going into the (warm-up) Tests, I was ready for it. From my injuries and stuff, everything felt good – I felt relatively fit and I was just enjoying being out there again.”
On preparing to face Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose in Ireland’s midfield:
“That is the expectation. They have performed well together this past season. But they’ve got threats across the backline with (Jacob) Stockdale in the wide channels and, if (Rob) Kearney’s fit at full-back, he’s been a class player as well.
“Aki and Ringrose are both very talented and Johnny Sexton just runs the show, Conor Murray is a great kicker of the ball. If they’re all fit, they’re an exceptionally talented backline and we’re going to have to be at our best if we want to make sure we are on top of them.”
On playing in the World Cup after a long road back from injury:
“I’m really excited to be here. From last September, the goal through all my rehab was to put myself in the shop window to be fit for the World Cup and just see if I could get selected. To be here is great, but that is not enough now. We want to be playing and winning matches and progressing through this group.
“It would be a big statement (to beat Ireland). It is a massive challenge for us in our first game of the World Cup. There’s been some close encounters in recent years and results have gone both ways. It’s going to be a great test of where we’re at and one we’re all looking forward to.”