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Taylor focused on regaining Hurricanes start

Andre Taylor in action against the Highlanders last year

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Article Published: Monday 25 March 2013|

Fullback Andre Taylor says that he is not thinking about anything other than regaining his starting place in the Hurricanes team.

Taylor was joint top try scorer in 2012 - with the Bulls' Bjorn Basson - but this season his form has taken a dip.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett dropped Taylor for the Rd.5 match against the Highlanders and he said that he hated sitting on the bench watching his team mates play.

"I'm going to fix that pretty smartly," Taylor told Fairfax NZ News.

"Against the Highlanders I came on and played how I played last year. Just making a decision and going with it is probably the best thing for me personally and the way I play," he said.

"I've pulled out of the (Hurricanes') strategy group so I can just focus on getting that form back."

Taylor didn't achieve much in terms of attack against the Highlanders but he did put in a memorable tackle on Highlanders midfield back Jason Emery.

Taylor believes that being dropped and his performance off the bench will give his season the spark it needed and hopes that it will get him back in the starting line up for this week's match against the Southern Kings.

Taylor accepts that his hands have not been up to scratch this season but does not think his form has been disastrous. He has however agreed to let wing Julian Savea make all the on-field calls for the back three so that he can focus on his game.

The fullback has also denied that he had put himself under too much pressure by trying to play his way into the All Blacks.

"I've told all the media I'm not worried about the ABs this year. I got excited last year, with everything that was going on, and obviously I didn't make nothing and I got on a real down buzz.

"So this year I've been trying to focus on the Hurricanes and that's it.

"Nothing else is going through my mind at the moment, there's just a few individual errors that I need to tidy up."

Hurricanes coach Hammett said he was impressed with Taylor's performance against the Highlanders but it did not automatically mean he would start this weekend.

"I thought he was outstanding when he came on," Hammett said.

"He made a huge impact . . . probably more so with his bravery on defence and some of that niggle around the tight spots."

Meanwhile flanker Ardie Savea has served his one match suspension for a lifting tackle so he is set to return while Hooker Dane Coles (ankle) and prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (sternum) have recovered from their injuries and could return this week.

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