Scott Taylor’s Hull KR and Neil Hudgell tribute as FC star opens up on choosing Rovers

Scott Taylor made 52 appearances for Hull KR, scoring nine tries between 2009-2012

He may have become the pantomime villain among Hull KR supporters since 2016, but Scott Taylor still holds his former club in high esteem regardless of the derby day banter.

Hull FC’s prop forward has been granted a testimonial by the RFL for his services to the game. Before he was an Airlie Bird and a Wigan Warrior, he was a Robin. Making his debut in 2009, Taylor would go on to make 52 appearances for Hull KR, scoring nine tries before joining the Cherry and Whites in 2012.

Growing up in a family of staunch Black and Whites, the end goal was always going to be to play for the club he supported growing up. However, some of the 32-year-old’s best games for the Robins came in derby wins, something he has recalled when looking back at the years leading up to him joining Rovers and making his debut away to Wigan Warriors.

“I was not on the Rovers scholarship coming through,” Taylor told Hull Live. “I just loved the game of rugby. I started at Skirlaugh. I was there for ten years with the same coach and really enjoyed being around my mates. That was my childhood.

“I had a growth spurt and a really good year when I was 15 coming on 16, and I remember KR coming. They had just been promoted to Super League and Hull had already signed a few players in my position from West Hull in my age. My dream was always to play for Hull FC, but I remember sitting with my dad and my family and just putting my career first.

“I thought if I went to Hull at that time, I’m not daft, there were some really good people in front of me. As much as it hurt not going to Hull, I had a chance at KR to play rugby and back myself, and within a year I was in the first team.

“I picked mind over heart to start my professional career. It was such a big call at such a young age, but I was one of these kids growing up that was super competitive. I got angry over board games, I was one of them, very competitive at all sports, and I always wanted to win. No matter where I was, I was always giving it my best and my all.

“I debuted in 2009, and I had some great years at KR. I have some really special memories, I got to meet some great people and play with some great players, but I always knew I wanted it to be a bit of a stepping stone to be able to play and compete at the highest level.”

After rising up the ranks at Craven Park and with the Justin Morgan era over, it wasn’t long before Shaun Wane came calling for Taylor’s services. In 2012 the Robins began their decline after establishing themselves as a Super League force. Needing to go elsewhere to enhance his career, Wigan was always going to be the most attractive offer to Taylor.

Looking back on the start of his journey, Taylor spoke about Rovers and Neil Hudgell and why the pair always joke when they see each other, even after crossing the River Hull.

“I wanted to be at the best team in the competition, winning trophies. I had that grit between my teeth,” added Taylor. “When some of the teams come knocking like Wigan and you go meet Shaun Wane and stuff like that, it was a bit of a no-brainer, but I’ll always be thankful to Hull KR for the memories I had there and the start they gave me.

“To win the Grand Final in my first year at Wigan justified the move. I’ve bumped into Neil Hudgell many times and we’ve had good chats about it – he’s always said fair play to me and congratulated me. There’s a running joke about players that don’t leave Hull. They stay in Hull and don’t leave to go and test themselves.

“I always wanted to do that. At 21, to go and sign for Wigan, who was one of the biggest teams in the comp and go under Shaun Wane, who would demand so much of me, I knew I’d be at the best team to progress and to try and win things. In the first year, to win the Challenge Cup and the Grand Final and win everything at 22 was absolute madness.”