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Taylor follows impressive path

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Sportal.co.nz     22 Aug 2013     Getty Images

Taylor has been given his debut for the All Blacks against Australia in the second Bledisloe Cup/Rugby Championship Test in Wellington on Saturday night. He was preferred over Colin Slade as the All Blacks recover from injuries to those ahead of them in the pecking order at first five-eighths, Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett – all of whom have injuries.

Like Carter, Taylor played much of his earlier career at first five, but has been seen more at second five-eighths for both Canterbury and the Crusaders. He has also appeared at fullback.

Carter made his All Blacks debut at second five-eighths and then was transferred to the No.10 jersey to become the finest player in the position in the game's history.

Taylor said it was his chance to prove to himself and to others that he could do the job.

Having an All Black for a father in Warwick Taylor he said he didn't notice anything different about than when growing up.

He also wasn't sure if his father had heard the news because he was out of town on a school skiing trip and doesn't get home until Friday. Although he thought his mother was trying to get the news through.

"He's got the skill set to play there and he has played there quite a bit before and at the camps he has slotted in at 12 and 13 and 10 on a couple of occasions so he understood what we have been trying to do with our patterns. He's just come in seamlessly really."

Hansen said: "We think he has got the maturity and mental ability to cope with what we're asking him to do. Probably the biggest swinger he has the ability to kick at 90 percent."

It also helped that he knew many of those around him.

Taylor said he had played first five most of his life and it was only in the last two years that he had played in the midfield.

And the call-up to join the squad was a bolt from the blue as he wasn't aware anyone had been injured in the first Test.

He said his role this week had been to learn as much as he could but also to relax as much as possible and not to try and play the game too much in his head ahead of the event.