PGRFC will once again be represented in the end of season England Counties tour with the news that full back Sean Taylor has been picked for the tour to Belgium. The week long tour in the middle of June will include two games against a Belgium Presidents XV and the full Belgium National XV. An excellent sideline to all Counties tours is that the players will again be involved in a number of development projects during the week to help progress the Belgian game.
Sean has enjoyed yet another fine season in Hoppers colours. He joined the club for the start of the 2009/10 season and has since gone on to make 109 appearances scoring 484 points (including 44 tries) in the process. This season he scooped both the Players Player and Player of the Year awards at the clubs annual dinner and has been a regular in the Lancashire side for this season’s County Championship. This season has seen him takeover as regular goal kicker for the 1st XV and he has immediately set a new points scoring record for the season with a 334 point haul. This broke Steve Kerry’s 15 year old record. Sean has previously represented Lancashire U20’s and North U20’s and was expected to make the England Counties U20 Squad two seasons ago before an untimely injury robbed him of a place in the squad.
Speaking on his selection Hoppers Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer said “This is just reward for Sean after an excellent season for the club. He has continued to work hard at his game and what he has achieved this season speaks for itself. A couple of years ago Sean was a shoe in for the England Counties U20 but an unfortunate injury robbed him of his chance. We were very disappointed for him at that time and what made it even more unfortunate was that Sean very rarely misses any games. He has been an ever present for us over the last couple of seasons so this call up is doubly sweet. I was aware the selectors were watching him earlier in the year but I felt it best to leave Sean to focus on his game and I am delighted that they have followed up on their interest by watching him star for Lancashire. I am also delighted that Sean has committed his future to the club and will continue in his dual role as our Community Rugby Coach where he is making a real impression”.
Speaking on his selection for the tour Sean said “I am very happy to be selected and very proud to have the chance to pull on an England shirt. I’ve had a good season with Hops and that has given me the platform to show the selectors what I can do. I’ve enjoyed being part of the Lancashire side and I thank them for nominating me for the tour”.
Asked on how he has improved his game, he continued “I think by not going out midweek has helped! But in seriousness I have kept my head down and worked hard at my skills, something the coaches at Hoppers have been very focused on”.
Taylor becomes the third Hopper to be selected for a full England Counties tour following in the footsteps of Olly Viney and Tom Hughes. This will be the clubs second Counties tourist this season following on from Eddie Webster who has recently returned from the U20’s successful tour to Georgia where he appeared in both games (a further article about this will appear in due course).