Lion ready for return

Former Lions tourist Simon Taylor is looking forward to his return to UK rugby following his summer move from Stade Francais to Bath. [more]

Lion ready for return

Former Lions tourist Simon Taylor is looking forward to his return to UK rugby following his summer move from Stade Francais to Bath.

The 30-year-old has been away from the domestic game for two seasons having left Edinburgh for Paris in 2008.

Taylor, who was selected for the 2001 and 2005 Lions tours but played only once due to injury, signed a three-year deal at The Rec and admits he had no hesitations about making the switch to England.

"The idea of coming to Bath was immediately attractive," Taylor told thisisbath.co.uk.

"I came over here on matchday for the Heineken Cup last season and it was an incredible place to be.

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"Stade won but Bath outplayed us – they were running it everywhere. That stuck in my mind."

Despite making a name for himself as a No8, Taylor spent much of his time in France packing down in the second row due to the strength of Stade’s back-row resources.

There has been talk that he could fill a similar role at Bath but, while both Taylor and Bath boss Steve Meehan admit that he could be called upon in that role at some stage this season, the intention from both parties is for him to feature at No8 or on the blindside flank.

Taylor is now just desperate to get going at his new club after openingly declaring that pre-season fitness has never been his favourite part of professional rugby.

"There is such quality in the second-row that I can't see me playing there unless there's a massive injury problem. But if needs be I'm sure I could.

"The first four weeks here have been pretty horrible in terms of training very hard. The pre-season's good but you just want to get stuck into the season.

"The goal is to start the season well. It's hard to look beyond beginning well at Leeds and then back here against London Irish.

"Taylor has won more than 60 caps for Scotland but hasn’t been involved since the 2009 Six Nations and opted out of his country’s summer training camp this time last year.

But while Taylor himself says his only focus at the moment is on playing well for Bath, Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has refused to close the door on a possible international return. 

"There has been no contact with Simon, but if I'm at a Bath game then I'll see him," said Robinson.

"Simon is enjoying his rugby, but it's not down to me whether he plays international rugby again; it's down to him. If a player puts himself forward to play then he's up for consideration."

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