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Holm Truths: Gloucester Rugby's Tim Taylor won't down tools

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

Tim Taylor

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Despite being forced to hang up his boots prematurely Tim Taylor still gets his kicks from rugby.

The 31-year-old called time on his career at the beginning of the month after conceding defeat in a 16-month battle with a chronic knee injury.

But Taylor is still very much involved in both rugby and life at Kingsholm.

He works with the Gloucester squad as a kicking and skills coach four mornings a week, is a member of Cheltenham Tigers’ staff and is continuing to grow his business TTPT Performance.

While enforced retirement can be cruel, Taylor was more than prepared for life after playing and is relishing the latest chapter in his professional career.

He said: “A few years ago I started looking ahead and doing a few courses through Ed Archer and with the help of the Rugby Players’ Association.

“I knew what I wanted to do because this (rugby and strength and conditioning) is what I know most about and I want to be outdoors and active.

“I love it down here at Gloucester and hopefully I can stay involved for as long as I can. It’s a great club and has brilliant support.

“They have been amazing and make you feel at home. I have some great friends here.

“My training company TTPT Performance is going well and eventually I would like to set up my own gym and bring the rugby side across.

“This Easter I am running training camps for young, aspiring rugby players with Ed’s Athlete Academy.

“I’ve always been interested in that side of the game. I love the strength and conditioning side of things and it’s such a big part of the game now.

“I’m also coaching the Cheltenham Tigers rugby team and loving that. They’re a great bunch of lads and I’m trying to pass on as much as I can to them – it’s great to be involved in the game.”

Given the fact that Gloucester have the worst kicking success rate in the Premiership this season, Taylor has certainly had his work cut out.

Jon Callard also works with the squad and Taylor cites the former England and Bath full-back as the best he has trained with, alongside former All Blacks kicking guru Mick Byrne.

But he insists the key to success as a kicking coach is a calm but competitive approach. There is no need to scream and shout to replicate the noise generated by the Shed – his role is to merely cast a watchful eye over technique and advise.

He said: “Kicking is a massive part of the game now and matches can be won and lost on them.

“I’ve been working with Freddie (Burns), Cookie (Rob Cook), Billy Burns and Billy Twelvetrees on that and as a back unit kicking generally. I really enjoy doing it and hopefully that will carry on. It’s always tough kicking, especially in front of a Kingsholm crowd, it’s trying to get that consistency with the boys.

“They are all good enough, they are pros and have done it well enough before, but if I can put a point across every now and then or in video I can see them doing something I can pass it on.

“I really enjoy it. It’s quite technical and challenging, especially when you are coaching the boys because it wasn’t long ago I was training with them.

“But hopefully they are getting something from it. I’m just trying to keep it competitive between them and do video analysis with them.

“Jon Callard has been great and I’ve learnt a lot from him. When I was in New Zealand there was a guy called Mick the Kick who was part of the All Blacks set-up and he was very influential.

“The main thing is if they are kicking well you just leave them to it, the worst thing you can do is get in someone’s head and try to change their technique to what you want.

“Every kicker is different and has their different line-up and run up.

“It wasn’t down to me changing Cookie’s run up I think he was just struggling to get so low with his age!”

During his playing career Taylor enjoyed stints at Canterbury Crusaders, Leicester Tigers, Saracens and Nottingham but he insists nothing compares to the roar at Kingsholm.

He added: “Playing for the Crusaders was amazing. I’ve grown up watching Super 15 and to be part of such an amazing team and kick with boys like Dan Carter was just brilliant.

“But the atmosphere here at Kingsholm beats everything. There’s nothing quite like a packed house and playing in front of the Shed.

“The supporters have been excellent over the last year and a half, as have the medical staff here right the way through. I’ve loved every minute at Gloucester.”

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  • RoryGlaws45  |  March 17 2014, 8:39AM

    All Gloucester Rugby supporters will know what a fine squad player Tim Taylor has been for the club over the years and will wish him all the best, but all Gloucester Rugby supporters also know that what the club must consistently do is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and best tight head prop, starts as many games as possible, otherwise the scrum will end up getting mullered as it did last season every time Rupҽrt was unavailable.

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