Profile - Gareth Taylor

Scrum Half - Born – 1979 (19th November) - Joined Moseley for 2003/04 after some excellent performances during a loan spell in 2002/03. Previously with Bees and Nottingham. Ever-present with over 90 consecutive appearances in successive seasons, before injury kept him out for the entirety of 2006/7! Captain in 2005/6 and again in 2008/9 including the Twickenham Cup winning team.

As Brian Dick said in the Birmingham Post's Twickenham preview Gareth "has seen off all-comers in the battle for the No 9 jersey, indeed he is so integrated into what the club is about he has once again emerged as first team captain. The former Nottingham and Bees half back has returned to his consistent best this season after missing an entire campaign with a foot injury and continues to lead by deed and mouth."

Height - 1.88m (6’2)
Weight - 91kg (14st.3)

click on the image to enlarge


Programme Profile: Gareth Taylor - December 2007

Few matters have given Moseley’s members and supporters more pleasure this season than the return of Gareth Taylor to the First XV Squad. They deeply appreciate the long and sustained effort he made to overcome his serious injuries throughout last season.

Gareth Taylor was born in Solihull in 1979. He was educated at Alderbrook School, Solihull, Nottingham Trent University ( where he read Sport Science with Biology) and Newman College, Bartley Green ( where he took a Post Graduate Certificate in Education). He now teaches Physical Education at Smithswood Sports College in Solihull and lives with his longstanding partner Sarah in Solihull.

Gareth was introduced to rugby at school and has always been a scrum half. Somewhat unusually, he did not play the game at University, having been introduced to the Nottingham club by Barrie Corless, from which he played in the England U21 (A) team in February 2000. On returning to the West Midlands he was loaned to Moseley in January 2003 as part of the club’s unsuccessful attempt to stave-off relegation from National League One. This was the start of his run of ninety consecutive matches for Moseley, having joined us formally in January 2004, becoming Club Captain for the promotion season 2005/06.

At the start of the following season, however, in a pre-season game against Worcester, Gareth suffered a ‘Liz Frank’ sprain. Initially he did not think this would prevent him from playing for more than three to four weeks but it was followed by tendonitis that took a calendar year to heal. He did not return to First XV duty until late September 2007. He welcomes the battle to regain his place with both Jimmy Ireland and Dan Hunter in contention for the No.9 shirt.

Frustrating and painful injuries of this duration are a major test of a player’s character and determination as he is bound to wonder whether he will ever play rugby again and what the longer term future has in store for him. Gareth used his injury time to study the other teams in the Division and, in particular, the way their scrum halves went about their business and the strategy adopted by their teams in varying conditions.

We discussed the present laws of the game. Gareth feels that the new sequence, by which the front rows of a scrum engage, is an improvement but when asked how he would react if referees were to insist (as the law requires) that scrum halves put the ball into the scrum straight he became quite coy! I suspect that, like generations of scrum halves before him Gareth will get away with what the referee allows in this area!

I asked Gareth how he approached his responsibilities as team captain. Being asked to captain any team is a great honour and especially one with a great history such as Moseley. Neil Mason has done a great job this season and with such talent and experience in the squad, everyone has taken an active role in game management.

Whatever his personal fortunes, Gareth is confident that Moseley will come good this season, not least because of the Gloucester connection and the high spirit and determination in the squad. He is pleased to see that there is real competition for nearly every position, as there is for the No.9 shirt.

In the longer term Gareth has no intention to stay in the professional game as a coach. but would like to climb up the managerial ladder of sport in education and the community, and is well placed to do so. Outside rugby he enjoys playing golf and socialising with friends.




MOSELEY'S Gareth Taylor spent last year feeling as if he had been involved in car crash. But now he has the drive to make himself an even better player after recovering from a long injury lay-off. As the Red and Blacks prepare for what is certain to be their toughest challenge of the season with a trip to Northampton Saints on Saturday, scrum-half Taylor is likely to remain a spectator.
But the 27-year-old is just grateful to be back within touching distance of firstteam action. Last year, after captaining Mose to their record-breaking promotion to National One, Taylor picked up a rare ankle injury during a pre-season friendly against Worcester.
The injury, a Liz Frank sprain, usually associated with car-crash victims, ended an impressive run of 90 consecutive starts. The former Nottingham and Pertemps Bees man had to watch Moseley cling on to their National One status by the skin of their teeth. However, the frustrated spectator role appears to have borne fruit for Taylor, a PE teacher. He admits that being forced to watch more matches has improved his knowledge of the game and as a result he believes that he will be a better player when he returns.
"While I was injured I watched a hell of a lot of rugby and you don't get to do that when you are playing," said Solihull-born Taylor. "I was able to view the game from a different angle and most notably National One because it is a big step up from National Two. "From being able to watch it I was able to pick up how different scrum-halves work, the pace of the game and a few different patterns.
"While I would have loved to play, by being able to sit and watch the game I was given an insight into National One and how certain players performed and I think I will be a better player for that.
"I played a few games the last time Moseley were in National One before they went down so I had a little taste of it. From watching it now I know what to expect when hopefully I start playing again.
"One of the lads has also said that the injury might do my career some good because before that I had played three or four seasons straight through." Taylor's gradual return to fitness has been a long and frustrating journey with several setbacks along the way.
He was expected to be back in action last Christmas but, after overcoming his initial injury, he was struck down with tendonitis which eventually saw him miss the entire season.
Difficult There were times when the ex-Solihull Sixth Form College pupil thought he would never play again and he has now learnt to take things one step at a time.
"It was a really difficult time for me," he said. "At first I was expected to come back at Christmas, then Easter, but eventually I was out for the season. "It's not so bad when you have a date set – it's when someone says it will be another month or two months. Up until two months ago I was thinking that I might not play again. It didn't look good because it was still hurting just as much. But I had a cortisone injection and it seems to have cleared up. "The first injury was the Liz Franks sprain. Then I had tendonitis. So now I just take it one step at a time. That is all I can do – I don't want to set goals. "Just after Christmas it was still really sore to walk on and I thought ‘what am I going to do?'. "My missus was more concerned because with all the extra time on my hands I would have been around the house a lot more."
Taylor got his long-awaited return to the rugby field last Monday during Moseley A's 60-5 victory over Nottingham A.
And, although he admits he found it tough going, he was just delighted to get some much-needed game time under his belt. "It felt the game was going at 100mph," he said. "A year ago when I was playing it seemed that I had a lot more time on the ball. "But it was only two weeks ago that I got back into running so I was really pleased to get half-an-hour and now I've just got to get a lot more games like that out of the way.
"I've got a long way to go and both Jimmy Ireland and Dan Hunter have done well at scrum-half but I'm sure they would agree that it will be great competition. "When I was injured it gave me the chance to help out some of the other lads in training but now I've got to concentrate on myself and get that right."