Rising Star: George Taylor

Rising Star: George Taylor

​In the first piece of our Rising Star series, sponsored by Wood, we caught up with up and coming centre George Taylor who discussed training in isolation and doing his bit for his dad’s animal pharmaceutical business during this difficult period.

Each Rising Star piece, brought to you by club sponsor Wood, will aim to bring you closer to the next generation of the club’s rising stars.

George - how has training in isolation been and how have the club’s Strength & Conditioning team kept you busy during this period?

“It’s not been light at all! The club’s S&C guys are pretty switched on in terms of keeping our fitness levels up. They did a home delivery before all this lockdown happened with a lot of gym equipment and accessories for all the players, so they know what each player has and they’re sending out personal programmes in accordance with the equipment.

“In terms of the programme, we’re still running, doing fitness sessions three times a week, we’re in the gym three times a week, so the S&C staff and the players are doing their best to keep us in shape.”

Is this period about staying as game ready as possible, as none of us know when the league could re-commence?

“Yes, essentially, no-one really knows when and if it will re-commence. We’re still staying ahead of the game just in case it does. There would be nothing worse than if you were told you’ve got two weeks until your next game and you're not ready, so we have to stay on our toes.

“How long would we need to return to match fitness? You would need a full week of full training, then another week of full contact, building up to the game from a Tuesday”

What sort of equipment have the S&C team provided you with while you train at home?

“If you wear number one to eight on your back, you’ve probably been given a bike! A lot of the forwards have been given a watt bike, a squat rack, a rowing machine or assault bike. For the backs at Edinburgh, it’s been quite a bit of gym equipment so everyone has something to do.”

How tough has this period been with regards to falling out of a routine? Players are used to playing matches, and obviously that’s not the case at the moment.

"We’re used to playing on the weekend, that’s essentially your job. It is a long season, there are times when you’re ready for your break between the games. But now after four weeks we just want to get back into it and back into our usual routine. On the mental side of things it’s important for the players too, making sure you’re on top of it. I’m keeping busy at the minute.”

“it’s not something we as the players or staff have talked about. We take it game by game. Obviously, our next game is unknown. That’s why we’re training to keep our fitness levels high to keep them where they would be for the next game, whatever that may be.

"I think it’s important to realise as well that there are much bigger things at play at the moment, and it’s now about staying safe and healthy, rather than getting back to playing. We hope all our supporters are the same and are focussing on staying at home and staying healthy."

While you’re back training in the Borders, you have been managing to help your dad's business out. Can you tell us a bit about the job?

“Yeah, I’ve been working with dad down here. He was a vet and now has his own business in export of animal pharmaceuticals. So, I’m basically working in the warehouse packing boxes.

"It’s been very busy. A lot of lifting as well, so a bit of gym work substituted for lifting boxes. Large curls with horse tranquilliser!

“It’s still classed as key work, and obviously vets need it to look after the animals. The reason it can still go abroad is mainly through DHL, because they have private haulage planes. Some of the other stuff goes with commercial flights, but obviously they’re all grounded.

“I’m living back home down in the Borders, and the warehouse is a couple of minutes away, so travel is pretty limited. It’s good just to be able to get out the house, but for a good reason. It’s great that I’m able to help out both my family and those in the veterinary industry."

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