It’s been quite some 12 months for England Rugby League international Scott Taylor. After lifting the Challenge Cup for the second time with Hull FC in August 2017, Taylor represented his nation as England took on New Zealand at the Broncos Stadium in Denver.
Representing your country and your sport in front of a new audience is just about as good as it can get. But when that happens at the home of the NFL team you support it takes it to the next level. And that was the experience Scott Taylor enjoyed.
He said: “The chance to represent my country, in Denver, was a double boost and the chance to go there was brilliant. I’d have probably gone myself within the next few years, but to get a chance to go out to Denver with England was unbelievable.
“It’s so impressive, everything in the NFL is on a much bigger scale, and it’s unbelievable to go and see all the Lombardi trophies, rings and all the Hall of Fame stuff.
“Just the full feel and atmosphere of the facility and how big all the changing rooms, gym and indoor facilities are is just unbelievable and it was a real privilege to go there.”
Like many, Scott Taylor was drawn in to the NFL by Peyton Manning, and the future Hall of Fame quarterback can be pinned down as the reason Taylor became a Broncos fan.
“I started watching the NFL when I was about 11 or 12 with my Dad,” Taylor added.
“One of the first games I watched was watching Peyton Manning so I followed his career at the Colts, and then when he moved to the Broncos. As I got more and more into the sport, when Manning retired I stuck with the Broncos, and they’re my team.”
Unfortunately for the England Rugby League team, their visit to Denver was in the NFL offseason, however they were able to attend a Colorado Rockies game.
He said: “The Rockies game was good, out of the American sports I love the NFL and I follow the NBA a bit, but I haven’t really followed Major League Baseball.
“I didn’t really know the rules, but the chance to go and see a sport I’ve never seen live on that scale was brilliant, and I can see why it’s got such a big following.”
It wasn’t all fun and games for Taylor however, and England were able to defeat New Zealand 36-18 at Broncos Stadium
“It was really good,” Taylor commented.
“Everyone we spoke to knew the game was on and we stayed near 16th street so anywhere we walked about we were getting stopped, and to get 20,000 people in Denver to go to a Rugby League game and showcase our sport was great.
“When the game was on the fans were into it, loving the contact and everything the game was about, it was a great opportunity.
“From a players’ point of view, the altitude was tough, you can’t prepare for those conditions.
“It’s hard to get the air into your lungs for a fast-moving game, and in a rugby league game if the ball doesn’t go out there are long stretches of play, compared to the short, explosive reps in the NFL.”
Of course, as a Broncos fan, we had to ask Scott Taylor his view on the upcoming season.
Taylor said: “I think our chances are really good, it was a bit disappointing last year. I have nothing against Siemian but we missed that top, top quarterback play which hopefully Case Keenum can try and bring.
“If we can get the offence going we’ve got one of the best defences in the league and the addition of Chubb to Von Miller is going to make it a real threat. We’ve seen in Super Bowl 50 what can happen when you have that defensive strength, and I’d be disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs.”
Thanks to Scott for his time, and we wish him all the best with Hull FC this season.