Tommy Taylor, a former Macclesfield Rugby youngster has today been called into Eddie Jones’ England squad to face France next weekend, and has recently announced his move from Sale Sharks to London Wasps. The Sale hooker played for Macclesfield from the under 6s until he was picked up by Sale Sharks. Taylor made 14 appearances for the Macclesfield first team and looks back on his time with The Blues with great fondness.
“My time at Macc was great, its my hometown club, I was there from the u6s so to then get to play first team was great. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have whilst I was there, I was pretty nervous every time I played in the first team for Macc! It did me the world of good.”
Taylor has become a pivotal member of the Sale line up, and has seen other players who have experienced rugby at Priory Park come through, Cameron Neild played in the latter stages of the successful 13/14 promotion season and has become a valuable member of the Sale side, and Sam James has burst onto the scene this year with the Sharks, being nominated twice for Premiership try of the month after spending the majority of last season on loan at Macc. Taylor believes that this experience gained in the National Leagues is invaluable and its come as no surprise to anyone at Sale the impact the two players have had this season.
“You go from playing school and academy level to playing with grown men, so the physicality is a big step up. Sale is known for a good academy and they out trust in youngsters.”
“Cam has been fantastic whether at hooker or in the back row, his work rate around the park is really good, which is what you want your 6 to do. Sam James is another great talent, I remember seeing him when he was 18/19 years old and you could tell how good he was from the time he has on the ball, it stands out in training and it has done in games this season.”
Macclesfield is a club that Tommy still holds very close to his heart, with many friends and family members still playing at the club. Taylor admits he always keeps an eye out to see how both The Blues and The Lions (second team) are getting on.
“I look out for the Macc results every week and its good to see they’re flying this year, I’ve still got a lot of friends in the first and second team, so I try and keep up with how theyre going. My uncle even still plays every now and then! You can’t really get away from it when you get home which is nice, it’s a great family club.”
Taylor has made over 70 appearances for the Sharks and his move to London Wasps came as a shock to many. Tommy admitted is wasn’t a decision that was easily made but said to could be a key move as he looks to further his career and challenge himiself.
“Wasps ambition just matched mine. I would’ve happily played here at Sale for the rest of my career but I wanted to push myself in a new environment and find out how I would react to that. Wasps are doing well both in Europe and in the Premiership, and that’s something I look forward to being a part of.”
Many have said the moves of Taylor and Danny Cipriani from Sharks to The Wasps could improve their shot at representing England, but Taylor doesn’t quite see it that way.
“It could help my England ambitions but that’s all up to me, its all down to me playing well. I’ve not moved to Wasps because it’ll mean I play for England, that’s not my thinking. Playing for England is all down to me, I’m going to have to do the exact same work down there as I do up here, I’ve got to work to make it happen, I’ll still be getting in at 8 in the morning to practice my throwing, it makes no difference. Wasps may provide a platform for me to prove it, we’ll be playing against the best sides in Europe and competing with them, all players want the chance to express themselves at the highest level.”
Taylor said he still has hopes of playing for England but is well aware of the competition that surrounds him for the number two shirt.
“It’s a new coaching regime, they’ll know what kind of hooker they want, so I’ve got to push forward what I do well. There is a lot of good hookers around at the minute, Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie, and Youngs. I’ve got to work hard to push myself forward to where I can stand out against those guys.”