British & Irish Lion Simon Taylor is relishing the opportunity to erase memories of the injury nightmare which wrecked his last tour by forcing his way into Sir Clive Woodward’s Test line-up.
Scotland number eight Taylor will set off for New Zealand next month hoping he encounters better luck than he did in Australia four years ago when his tour was cruelly cut short by knee ligament damage.
That the rookie Edinburgh back-row had impressed on his Lions debut – scoring a try in the 116-10 rout against Western Australia – only served to compound his misery as he returned home ahead of schedule.
But Taylor revealed the experience he gained during his brief spell down under fuelled his ambition to book another Lions trip and having achieved that, he now has a Test place in his sights.
"I lasted one week on the last tour. I played in the second half of the first game and I sustained a bad ligament strain. I had to go home but that gave me a real taste for the Lions," he said.
"I was really enjoying it up until that point. My situation was different then to what it is now – I was only 21 at the time and had been a professional for barely a year, so I was still a novice.
"It was all fairly new to me and that was my first proper senior tour. This time I have a better idea of what to expect and am a bit more relaxed about it, although I was relieved to see my name in the squad because I was desperate to get in.
"Guys that I’ve had to worry about in the past are now going to be my team-mates, which is going to be a different feeling. It will be nice not to be on the receiving end of what they can do.
"We can certainly beat the All Blacks and the Tests are the big games. They’re the ones that matter, so I’m travelling out there to gain selection against the All Blacks."