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Encyclopedia > John Taylor (rugby player)

John Taylor (born July 21, 1946 in Watford, Hertfordshire) was a Welsh rugby union player. Nicknamed "Basil Brush" thanks to his wild hair and beard, he played as a flanker for the London Welsh RFC (of which he is now a board member), and represented Wales 26 times between 1967 and 1973.

Perhaps his most famous moment was in the Five Nations match against Scotland in 1971. The match had see-sawed backwards and forwards with each team taking the lead several times. Finally, with a few minutes to go and the score at 18-14, Wales won a lineout in the Scotland 22. The ball moved through the backs to Gerald Davies who managed to squeeze in at the right hand corner. With great presence of mind, the Scottish defence kept up the chase to prevent Davies from touching down near the posts. With the score at 18-17 and ball to be placed on the right hand side, the conversion looked almost impossible, particularly as Barry John, the usual Welsh kicker, was right footed and had been concussed earlier in the match. Instead of Barry, up stepped "Basil" and with great aplomb, stroked the ball perfectly between the posts. 19-18 and victory to Wales! One Welsh journalist called this "the greatest conversion since St. Paul".

John Taylor was also notable for the stand he took against apartheid after visiting South Africa in 1968. Taylor was invited on the 1974 Lions tour but made it clear he would follow his conscience and he refused to tour.

Since 1991, he has been a rugby commentator on ITV.

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Nicknamed 'Basil Brush' because of his wild hair and beard, John Taylor was a mobile and lightweight flanker who played for Wales during a golden era in the late sixties and early seventies.
Taylor, a left-footer, who was only a part-time kicker, was called on to take the kick.
Taylor was selected for the Lions tour of New Zealand in 1971, where he played in all four tests at open side.
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