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Simon Taylor's No. 8 guide
Simon Taylor
Simon Taylor
Scotland's No. 8

Being number eight is a unique position.

You are the lynchpin of the team because you're the link between the backs and the forwards.

This is a very demanding position to play.

Simon Taylor's facts
Simon Taylor
Country: Scotland
Club: Edinburgh
Position: No.8
Born: 17 Aug 1979, Stirling
International debut: 2000 against USA
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 15st

You need to have the physical strength of a forward combined with the speed and skill of a back.

Basically you've got to be a good all-rounder but especially have good ball handling skills and be a strong runner.

I have to control the ball at the back of the scrum.

And sometimes I can even pop up in the line-out!

In order to mix things up, our hooker, usually Gordon Bulloch, will choose to throw the ball to me as an alternative to our main line-out target, normally Scott Murray.

As if this isn't enough to keep me busy, as a marauding number eight I can also be found right in the middle of most rucks and mauls!

You need to be extremely fit to be a good No.8 - which means sticking to a tough training regime.

I do three weights sessions a week, four rugby sessions and extra fitness work too.

I also play a competitive game every week for my club Edinburgh Reivers. It's the best training you can get.

It is important to eat healthily - and I try to, but there's no point getting obsessed with it - you don't want to start weighing things or anything like that!

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