Wednesday, 25 November 2020

University skipper signs for the Rams

NEW signing Fergus Taylor has promised to bring a ‘lot of hard carrying and hard tackling’ to Old Bath Road after joining Rams, writes Richard Ashton.

The former Oxford University captain — who can play second row or back row — has made the move having taken a job teaching at Radley College, and says his first impressions of the club have been hugely positive.

He said: “It’s been really good fun and there’s a really nice culture.

“It’s quite difficult with the Covid situation and things have to be a little more disconnected than you’d like, but despite that everyone’s been very welcoming and it seems a great group of boys. It’s nice to be back training and playing some rugby.”

He continued: “I actually had a really good chat with (director of rugby) Seb (Reynolds) a couple of years ago when I was doing my first year out in Italy and he sold me his vision.

“Rams were still in National 2 (South), but looked likely to move up and he sold me the vision of how it’s all about the player group and the culture.”

And commenting on what he hopes to bring to Sonning’s Old Bath Road, Taylor revealed: “I like to keep things quite simple. When we play touch I like to throw it around and try and show some silky skills, but normally I’m about a high work-rate, a lot of hard carrying and hard tackling.”

Taylor’s impressive CV includes three appearances in the Varsity match, while he has spent the past two years playing for CUS Genova in Italy.

And he believes these experiences have helped develop him as a player, stating: “Italy was really good.

“I had two really excellent coaches who taught me a lot individually, and what was really interesting from a man-management players perspective was that Italian players are very different to English guys.

“They’re much less detail-oriented and a little more hot-headed.

“There was a lot of responsibility being made captain of the club at Oxford and it was a great experience playing in the Varsity match, managing pressure and expectations.”

Taylor made his first appearance at Old Bath Road during a Ready4Rugby event on Saturday, which included four Rams’ sides as well as one from Reading University.

Despite winning all of their round-robin group games, Taylor’s ‘Rams Two’ outfit, which also included the likes of Jack Moates, Max Hayman, Craig Nightingale and Omar Ellaboudy, were eventually defeated 5-3 on tries by ‘Rams One’ in the final.

The eventual champions surrendered a 3-1 half-time lead with four minutes remaining, but brought the likes of Conor Corrigan, Jak Rossiter and Ben Henderson back onto the park to seal victory in an entertaining affair.

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