Edinburgh centre George Taylor pitching in with family business to help vets around world

The strange thing about lockdowns (as if we’ve known them before!) is that it takes us from comfort zones into long forgotten comfort zones. Apologies Twitter followers for my 80s nostalgia trips!

Edinburgh's George Taylor in action against Zebre at BT Murrayfield. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

In sharp contrast, Edinburgh centre George Taylor has made his experience far more useful, as he headed back to his Borders hometown of Earlston to help out with his dad David’s business MerlinVet.

In the fight against Covid-19 there is a frontline but, as we are all learning, a series of other lines keep us and the globe going and 23-year-old Taylor has been pitching in with the business which provides veterinary equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals to surgeons, charities and vet agencies around the world.

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“Very busy. A lot of lifting as well, so a bit of gym work has been substituted for lifting boxes,” said the former Scotland Under-18 and Under-20 centre.

“It’s still allowed out of the country. There are specific pallets that can’t go. There was one company wanting £28,000 to ship a couple of pallets, so we’re waiting on that. But we predominantly do Hong Kong, so it’s all good.

“It’s still classed as key work, and obviously vets need it to look after the animals. The reason it can still go abroad is mainly through DHL, because they have private haulage planes. Some of the other stuff goes with commercial flights, but obviously they’re all grounded.”

It’s an interesting twist, for sure, but ultimately Taylor is in the same boat as us all. “I’m living back home down in the Borders, and the warehouse is a couple of minutes away, so travel is pretty limited. It’s good just to be able to get out the house, but for a good 
reason,” he said.

For a professional rugby player it is a bit more extreme than Joe Wicks, though.

“No. Not light at all,” he said of the regime he has been given by coaches. “The Edinburgh strength and conditioning guys are pretty switched on in terms of keeping our 
fitness levels up.

“They did a home delivery before all this lockdown happened with a lot of gym equipment and accessories for all the players, so they know what each player has and they’re sending out personal programmes in accordance with the equipment.

“In terms of the programme, we’re still running, doing fitness sessions three times a week, we’re in the gym three times a week, so the S&C staff and the players are doing their best to keep us in shape.”

Edinburgh have been 
flying this season, with Taylor featuring in 12 of Richard 
Cockerill’s side’s push to the top of Conference B in the now curtailed Guinness Pro14.

“No-one really knows when or if it will re-commence,” admitted Taylor.

The Pro14 final scheduled for Cardiff in June has been cancelled, with the league suspended indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We are all adjusting to the “new normal” but Taylor admitted it is an unsettling time.

“We’re used to playing on the weekend, that’s essentially your job,” he said.

“It is a long season, there are times when you’re ready for your break between the games. But now after four weeks we just want to get back into it and back into our usual routine. On the mental side of things it’s important for the players too, making sure you’re on top of it. I’m keeping busy at the minute.”

There are bigger issues to confront at the moment, which Taylor is doing his 
small part to help, but the best season Edinburgh have had in over a decade has been left hanging.

“We need a recognition of how well the season has gone,” said Taylor. “We could play Glasgow at home in the 1872 Cup decider and we could have had a home semi-final [in the Pro14].

“For the season to be voided it would be pretty dampening on all the players and coaches. I would like to think the season does finish off in some way. It would be good to have another game to reach the final if there is one.”