The former England U20 World Cup winner will be part of a Dragons outfit bidding to topple the Stormers in their first home game in Port Elizabeth. The Welsh region gave a good account of themselves in a 33-25 defeat to the Lions last week in the first of their three matches in South Africa.
S4C – Saturday, 11.45am: Clwb Rygbi
Stormers v Dragons
live coverage of the BKT United Rugby Championship match between Stormers and Dragons from the Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth
English commentary available. K/O 12.00pm
But this will be a step up in class against a Stormers side who are packed with talent and Taylor is in no doubt where a victory would rank in the history of the Dragons.
“If we could get the win, it would have to go down as one of the Dragons’ best ever. It would be a statement win for us; it would be massive for our belief. Looking at the league table last year and so far, this year, they are one of the best teams in the league,” said Taylor.
“It would be huge for us. We have said their team selection is a compliment to how we have been playing because they’ve brought a few internationals, even though they make their Heineken Champions Cup debut next week.
“They clearly have shown respect to us and now we have to prove them right and show everyone we can compete against the top teams. We have been building towards this, but now we have to show that we mean business.”
The Stormers are currently fourth on the URC table with five wins from seven matches, while the Dragons are 11th with three wins from eight.
“Last week was probably a missed opportunity, I definitely felt like we had the capability to beat the Lions. The result has only pushed the boys further, we are determined to get something out of this game,” added Taylor.
“We know we have the capability to compete, but now we have to go the extra step to get a win. The boys are raring to go and, we have definitely got the ability to beat them, we just need to cut out some unforced mistakes from our game, if we can do that, we can definitely compete with them.”
The Dragons have been strengthened by the arrival of Wales hooker Bradley Roberts from Wales duty and he will join a pack that includes fellow internationals Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright. Matthew Screech also makes his first start since returning to the Dragons on loan from Cardiff.
The Welsh regions all struggled initially on their trips to South Africa, but there have been recent signs they are now getting to grips with what is required.
A week ago, Cardiff became the first Welsh region to win in South Africa since the United Rugby Championship’s expansion with a bonus-point victory at Sharks and Taylor reckons the Dragons are capable of following with an even more impressive away win.
“I think first of all you need to be at your best out here, it is a very difficult place to play. If you don’t get your set piece right, then your straight on the back foot,” said Taylor.
“If you get those basics right and play your game on top of that you have a chance. But the margins for error are tiny, if you show any weaknesses, they will exploit them.
“The South African sides have an excellent blitz defence; you see it across the board. They put you under huge pressure, so you have to be accurate, they won’t let you get away with it otherwise.
“We need to hold our depth, play intelligent rugby and if we can do that, we will create chances.”