Watch coverage of Castleford vs Hull FC on Thursday live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm
Last Updated: 30/09/20 2:20pm
Hull vice-captain Scott Taylor will put six months of frustration behind him when he makes his comeback from a back injury in Thursday night’s Betfred Super League game at Castleford, live on Sky Sports.
The 29-year-old England prop, who says he had been nursing the problem for the last two years, started the first seven matches of the season but suffered a recurrence on his return from lockdown.
“I took a whack a couple of years ago, a real bad one, but I managed to maintain it over the last season or two,” Taylor said.
Castleford Tigers vs Hull FC
October 1, 2020, 7:30pm
“But when we came back from the lockdown and did our first full contact, I took another whack on it and it set me back massively.
“I had to see a specialist and we managed to get an epidural type thing to clear away a lot of the rubbish. There’s a bit going on there at the bottom of my spine.
“It’s something I need to learn to deal with for the rest of my career but it’s now the best it’s felt. I definitely don’t need surgery, it’s nowhere near that point.
“It’s definitely the longest I’ve gone in my professional career without playing a game and it’s definitely been the most challenging mentally.
“The hardest part was sitting on the sofa watching the games. I don’t like not being able to have an impact. But I’ve got through it and I’m buzzing that I can be back out there and try to affect the results.”
Taylor’s last appearance came in the Black and Whites’ 38-4 home defeat by Warrington in March, which cost Lee Radford his job as head coach.
The club’s fortunes have shown little sign of improving since then, with Last enjoying just one win in five league matches, but Taylor believes Radford’s successor deserves the chance to turn them around.
“Lasty is slowing getting his stamp on the place,” Taylor added. “He’s working his socks off. I know the fans are frustrated but we are working hard to put it right.
“He’s been through a lot – he had two days and then we went into lockdown – but he’s a true professional. I do think he’s the right man for the job and I know for a fact the boys are all behind him.”
Last is looking forward to Taylor making an impact on his team.
“It’s a big game for Scott,” he said. “It’s the longest he’s not played since he was six-year-old and he’s chomping at the bit. He’s brought great energy to training.”
Like Hull, Castleford are cut adrift from the play-off places but Taylor insists they have not given up on a Grand Final spot.
“Mathematically we can still make the top four,” he said. “It is kind of do or die. Cas are in a similar boat to us.
“It’s an opportunity to try and get a good win and hopefully build a bit of momentum going into the last few games of the year.”
Taylor is expected to lead Hull in the absence of Danny Houghton, who is expected to miss the next two matches with an ankle injury.
Last is also without centre Josh Griffin, who has a back injury, while Castleford are still without half-back Danny Richardson and Derrell Olpherts, Liam Watts, Oliver Holmes and Jesse Sene-Lefao are all missing from the team that lost to Huddersfield.