Taylor relishing return to fitness

Scotland international Simon Taylor insists a simple win in Ireland is far more important than exorcising any personal demons after his last Six Nations Championship visit to Lansdowne Road. [more]

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Scotland international Simon Taylor insists a simple win in Ireland is far more important than exorcising any personal demons after his last Six Nations Championship visit to Lansdowne Road.

The Edinburgh Gunners number eight suffered knee ligament damage when the Scots last played in Dublin two years ago in a 37-16 defeat.

The injury sidelined the 26-year-old for 11 months before he finally returned to action in February 2005.

Now, despite defeating England and France already this year in the Six Nations, Taylor maintains real success will be determined by continued progress against the Irish.

Taylor said: "I don’t think we have been successful yet. We have had two pretty good wins but I am always miserable anyway – I don’t change.

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"I was really miserable on my last game against Ireland in Dublin. I hurt my knee and there followed 11 months of not being happy.

"But I don’t feel I have any ghosts to exorcise next weekend at all.

"The main thing is to win there because I have played there a few times and just not been close to winning.

"That has to be the main issue to settle. It is a very hard place to go and, hopefully, it will be a different story.

"But the Irish are a good team and you don’t beat Wales 31-5 without being a decent side.

"We have struggled against Ireland in the last couple of years – in fact, the last time we beat them was 2001.

"So there is no chance of us going to Dublin with any complacency.

"Even with Edinburgh, we have struggled against Irish clubs, such as Munster the other week.

"You do know their players through the Celtic League but that can be a double-edged sword.

"You may know the players but you also recognise the history you have against them."

But Taylor concedes, while Scottish rugby is enjoying a renaissance under head coach Frank Hadden, it is a disappointment the final two matches of the Six Nations will not be at Murrayfield.

He said: "It is a shame because the England game will be the last one at Murrayfield before November.

"It is great playing here and it is better than going away.

"The fans would love another game here – no matter who we were playing – because they would pack the place out.

"But it is just the way the fixtures have fallen and we have to get on with it.

"The wins this year have been a bit of a change from last year, but it will be interesting to see how we get on in Dublin.

"Lansdowne Road has not been an easy place for us to go recently."

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