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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Sale complete capture of Taylor
MARK TAYLOR
Mark Taylor
Age: 31
Caps: 49
Previous clubs: Pontypool, Swansea, Llanelli Scarlets
Wales and Lions centre Mark Taylor has signed a three-year contract with Zurich Premiership outfit Sale Sharks.

Taylor will be released by Llanelli Scarlets at the end of the season, but no other Welsh regions wanted him.

Bristol, Sale Sharks and London Irish were interested in offering the 32-year-old a permanent deal.

"Sale's backs were the real attraction, it's great to join a side with the pace and talent of Mark Cueto, Steve Hanley and Jason Robinson," said Taylor.

"It's a big wrench to leave Wales having played all my rugby here, but if I'm ever going to enjoy another style of rugby this is the ideal time.

"The Zurich Premiership is up with France as the most competitve league in Europe.

The signing of Mark Taylor underlines our ambition to become one of the top clubs in Europe
Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre
"I feel that the big difference between the English sides and Wales is the money they have for their facilities.

"We're moving in the right direction with our training facilities and grounds, especially at the Ospreys, but England is ahead of us."

Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre welcomed the arrival of the Welsh international, saying:

"The signing of Mark Taylor underlines our ambition to become one of the top clubs in Europe.

"Mark has played for Wales over the last 10 years and is one of the best centres in the northern hemisphere."

Taylor won his 49th cap for Wales in the Grand Slam-clinching victory over Ireland in Cardiff last March.

He hopes to win his 50th cap on the summer tour of the USA and Canada.

There may be some doubt over whether he will be able to extend his Wales career beyond that, though.

Taylor says that Sale want him for the full season next year, and that if he is needed by Wales he will have to discuss the situation with the club.




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