Duncan Taylor is aiming to dine out heartily on a personal homecoming when Saracens take on Northampton Saints on Sunday.
This weekend’s meeting in Round 20 of the current Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign counts as an away fixture for Mark McCall’s side but with the game taking place at stadium:MK, the surroundings will be pretty familiar for Saracens centre Taylor.
Having spent time living in Buckinghamshire as a youngster, the 27-year-old attended the nearby Olney Middle School and then-teenage Taylor, who would go on to become a Scotland international, spent a season working as part of the stadium:MK catering staff for MK Dons matches.
Naturally, the Saracens man cannot wait to get his teeth stuck into Sunday’s main course.
“I used to get a free burger and chips at the end of my shift,” said Taylor, who also played for Olney RFC before being snapped up Bedford Blues in 2010.
“I was 17 or 18 and I spent a season working in a kiosk selling burgers and chips at all MK Dons home games.
“I grew up in Olney and that was only about ten minutes down the road, so it was ideal for me at the time.
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“It’s a nice stadium and I’ve been there before with Saracens but I was on the bench and didn’t get on, so it’s going to be nice to start a game this time – I’m really looking forward to it.
“I think that everyone is pumped for it. We’re coming off the back of playing at Wembley and this is obviously going to feel a little different but it’s another great stadium and there should be an exciting atmosphere.
“I think it will feel like a neutral ground on the day and we’ve got to be up for it because it’s going to be a difficult game against Northampton.”
Despite now playing his part in third-placed Saracens’ run-in, Taylor has endured a season beset by injury, with the hamstring problem that ended his spell on Scotland’s tour of Japan in June last year, as well as two ankle surgeries, seeing him spend more than his fair share of time on the sidelines in 2016-17.
But he is now optimistic ahead of the future, with Saracens looking strong ahead of the semi-finals.
He said: “It’s been a long old year.
“It’s been tough at times but being out makes you really relish the opportunity to play again and I’m excited for every game that we’ve got left now.”
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