Taylor Ready For Return After Six Month Break

Taylor Ready For Return After Six Month Break

Scott Taylor has described the mental challenges of being sat out of action for the last six months ahead of his anticipated return to action tomorrow evening when the Black & Whites take on Castleford.

Club News

Scott Taylor has described the mental challenges of being sat out of action for the last six months ahead of his anticipated return to action tomorrow evening when the Black & Whites take on Castleford.

Taylor has been named in Hull’s 21-man squad and is in line to feature for the first time in over 200 days, and for the first time since the restart of the Betfred Super League season having been nursing a back injury since late July.

Hull take on the Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in the Round 14 tie as they look to return to winning ways having gone down to Salford last week.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Taylor said: “It feels good to be back. It has been the longest I’ve gone in my professional career without playing a game.

“It’s over six months now – even looking back to my amateur days, it’s probably twenty years since I’ve gone this long without playing rugby.

“It has been challenging mentally, and one of the toughest spells during my career. On top of everything that’s going on anyway, added to that not being able to be out there with the boys on the field has been really tough. I’m through it now though and personally I’m buzzing to be back available.”

Taylor paid credit to the club’s physio staff for their roll in helping him get back fit, as well as explaining the origin of the injury.

“My back feels good. Its something I’m going to have to learn to live with for the rest of my career now. I can’t thank Chris John and Paul Hatton enough for the time they have spent with me trying to get me fit in my rehab since we came back. This is the best it has felt and every test we have put in place to make sure I’m right to play I have passed so I’m ready to go.

“It stemmed from a back knock I took a couple of years ago. I’ve been able to manage it, but I took a big hit on it just after we came back from lockdown, and having been not been able to train for four months, that set me back massively.

“I saw a specialist who managed to clear up the mess at the bottom of my spine, so once that was done it was all about getting back fit and making sure I was strong enough.”

Reflecting on the club’s recent results, Taylor explained: “Since we have come back in, we have had a lot of off-field distractions. On the field though, we just haven’t defended well enough recently, and lacked a little bit of trust in each other on the field.

“I’ve been in this position before too and it seems that a few of the lads are maybe trying a bit too hard trying to cover for others and getting caught out of position.

“The other issue has been that the boys have been really limited as to the time they can spend on the training field. You can’t be out there for long periods or every day.

He continued: “I understand the fans frustration, but we are working hard and doing everything we can to put things right. It doesn’t change overnight and building up that culture takes time. Lasty is slowly getting his stamp on the place, and he is working his socks off right now.”

And Taylor held praise for Last having dealt with the many challenges of recent months, adding: “In modern times, there hasn’t been a harder time to take on the head coach position at a Super League club.

“He is a true professional in everything he does, and trying to make himself, his staff and all the players accountable for everything they do. That is something that had slipped a bit before, but this is the way he wants it to be and he deserves plenty of time to be able to implement that. All of the boys are behind him, and us players need to back him up on the field.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, Taylor said: “Mathematically, we’re still able to make the top four. Until that changes, we’ll still maintain that belief in ourselves.

“Castleford are in a similar boat to us with some bodies missing and really hit and miss with their form.

“It’s do or die now. That’s the mindset we need to have now – we don’t want to be playing the last five or six games of the season knowing there is nothing to play for, and you’re just turning up. There is still something to play for, and I’m really chuffed to be coming back into what is a big game for us.”