Fit-again Simon Taylor has taken the next step in his quest for a place in the British & Irish Lions squad this summer by being named in the Scotland squad for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Italy.
The world-class No 8 has not pulled on an international jersey since suffering serious cruciate ligament damage in a game against Ireland last March.
But Taylor strengthened his claim for a much-needed international comeback at Murrayfield on Saturday by making a triumphant try-scoring return for Edinburgh Rugby in their Celtic League 41-33 win against Leinster.
Sir Clive Woodward would find a fit and in-form Taylor impossible to ignore when he names his party for the tour of New Zealand.
Scotland boss Matt Williams confirmed last week he would have no qualms about throwing Taylor straight back into international action.
"There is no problem with his knee now," he said.
"He is fully recovered from the serious injury, and if he comes through this weekend’s game and the medical staff are happy, and he tells me he feels ready mentally to return, then I’ve got to consider someone of Simon’s quality for the Italy game."