4th July 2018, 14:27 | englandrl
England and Hull FC prop Scott Taylor on England, Jake Connor and family.
48 hours before the players boarded the plane destined to Denver, Scott Taylor had his week planned out to keep himself busy after his omission from the England squad.
Less than 48 hours later he was joining his team mates on the plane, ready for the first ever Rugby League game to be held in Colorado.
It was a quick turnaround for the Hull FC prop: “I’d planned a week of stuff to keep me busy, to help keep my mind from thinking whether I should be in Denver or not.
“When I got the call it was a surprise, so I was buzzing when JP [Jamie Peacock] rang.
“I had to get my head around it straight away because within less than 48 hours I was going to be on the plane, so I rang the people closest to me to let them know.”
Taylor has won the Challenge Cup and Grand Final, but representing his country was a proud moment, not just for him but his family.
“To stand there and get my first cap against France, there was just lots of emotions, I just felt proud.
“I’m representing Rugby League in this country and I’ve got a job to do, I’m representing my family and what it meant to them was a big thing for me.
“I’m proud of the way I’ve been brought up, I’m proud of where I come from – as proud as I was, I know it probably meant ten times more to my Mum, Dad, sister and close relatives to see me there representing my country.
“There’s not many bigger highs you will get especially in your career, it was something special,” he said.
The 27-year-old was first selected for the national side in 2016, in Denver he was joined by a quiet Hull FC teammate, Jake Connor.
Taylor added: “I’ve been flying the flag for England on my own for the last few years, so to get another Hull FC lad in was good to see.
“He could be very good, he’s got the right people surrounding him, he just needs to keep his feet on the ground.
“He’s quiet but when he’s on the pitch he’s a winner and a competitor, very competitive, he wants to win everything.
“Whether you’re a Hull FC or England fan you’ve got to respect that he’ll give 100% like he does, it’s good to play with him and he couldn’t have had a much better debut for England.”
England made it to the final of the Rugby League World Cup in 2017 before narrowly losing to Australia, Taylor, like millions of other watched the national football team overcome Colombia on penalties last night in the FIFA World Cup.
Taylor has played in front of thousands of spectators in his career, but at times, last night was too hard to watch, even for him.
“It’s a lot easier playing, trust me, it’s a lot easier being out there, the whole nation is behind them, like Rugby League, football is life for some people.
“I’m 27 and I’ve seen England fail in a lot of tournaments, especially the Euros two-years-ago, so you sort of give-up a bit after getting knocked out to Iceland.
“I was watching with all my mates and I couldn’t even watch it, and when it went to penalties I was just thinking the worst,” the Yorkshire-man said.
Even for the most pessimistic of England fans, it just might be coming home…