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Mark Taylor with BBC Wales' Rob Phillips
"The knee is fundamentally sound"
 real 14k

Friday, 26 January, 2001, 16:05 GMT
Taylor fit for Leicester
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor will strengthen the Swansea backline
Mark Taylor has won his fitness battle to face Leicester in the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup on Sunday.

The former Wales captain has been sidelined since undergoing a knee operation two months ago and is facing a race against time to prove his fitness for Wales' Six Nations Championship opener with England next week.

"It is the end of a very frustrating period as it has been 10 weeks since I last played," Taylor said.

"If I want to be in contention for the Six Nations championship and the Lions tour I have got to play.


We have got to match their fire if we are to stand a chance
  Mark Taylor

"But 80 minutes of rugby this weekend is perhaps not enough to press my case for the England game," Taylor added.

Graham Henry has told the Swansea centre he must impress against Leicester to be selected.

Taylor's return to the Swansea line-up is a huge boost for the Sharks, who start as definite underdogs against a strong and experienced Leicester side.

Improvement

After the disappointments of ending the group stage with two consecutive defeats, captain Scott Gibbs has demanded more commitment and determination among his players.

Swansea certainly have the attacking flair in their backs to cause the Tigers problems, and with the competition's top try scorer Matthew Robinson on the wing they have a proven finisher.

"If we take them on up front there is no reason we can not put in a good performance.

"But we have got to match their fire if we are to stand a chance," Taylor said.

The only change to the team defeated by Stade Francais last Saturday sees Darren Morris return to the front row in place of Chris Anthony.


Teams

Leicester: tba

Swansea: K Morgan, S Payne, M Taylor, S Gibbs (capt), M Robinson, A Thomas, S Martens, D Morris, G Jenkins, B Evans, T Maullin, A Moore, G Lewis, C Charvis, L Jones.
Replacements: R Jones, C Rees, G Henson, C Anthony, G Smith, J Griffiths, P Moriaty.

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