Young North Dublin Eagles centre Joe Taylor has joined the Harlequins RL Academy team.
Following successful trials in 2009, Harlequins RL invited Taylor to join their academy side for the 2010 season. So as soon as the youngster’s leaving cert. exams finished he headed to London.
The action came soon after his arrival with a debut early in July against the Bradford Bulls academy but it was this week (July 24th) that brought Taylor his first try in the famous quartered shirt in an emphatic 52-18 win over Wakefield Wildcats.
Taylor started his rugby with Kildare rugby union side Barnhall RFC and progressed to the Leinster youth squad in 2008 before committing to school’s rugby with Castleknock College the same year.
Taylor’s first taste of league came when he joined the Eagles in summer 2009 and he quickly progressed, gaining selection to the Ireland A team, getting his first cap aged 17 v Wales in the 2009 Home Nations.
This season saw him play for the Ireland Student Team in the inter-pro series before departing for Twickenham.
Taylor commented, “The last year has been amazing and the chance to play in a Super League Academy was a fantastic opportunity. I´d like to thank Eagles coach Conan Uphill for giving me the confidence to play at a higher level and especially Callum Irving, Damien Welland and Nicky Howard in RLI for their support and guidance”.
Taylor’s quick progression in the sport is testament to the quality coaching and progressive attitude currently in RLI with a commitment to developing young Irish players.
Taylor is following in the footsteps of RLI graduates Brian Carney, Carl De Chenu, Wayne Kerr, Stevie Gibbons, Tim Bergin, John Coleman and Paddy Barcoe who have all travelled across the pond in the recent years to play at a higher level with Tim Bergin now a regular first team player with Sheffield Eagles and Wayne a regular with Oldham Roughyeds.