Simon Marcus Taylor (born 17 August 1979 in Stirling) is a Scottish professional rugby union footballer. He is a back-row forward, usually a number eight. He played for Edinburgh for six seasons between 2000 and 2006 and in 2007 agreed a three year deal with Stade Français joining them immediately after the 2007 World Cup. He also represents Scotland and the British and Irish Lions. He (at the start of his rugby career) played for the FPs of George Heriot's School.
After five matches for the national under-21 side in 1998-1999 he went on to play in ten more under-21 internationals in 1999-2000, including the victory over the New Zealand Youth at Jedburgh in December and the draw with Australia during the 2000 Southern Hemisphere Alliance tournament in New Zealand. In that latter match Taylor scored a try. In 1999-2000 he played a pivotal role in Heriot’s FP’s second successive club championship and was rewarded with a professional contract with Edinburgh Reivers at the beginning of season 2000-2001.
He scored his first test try in the match against Canada on the 2002 tour in which he started at openside flanker and then made some pile-driving contributions when he was fielded at No 8 against the USA. He scored his first try in a Murrayfield Test match in Scotland’s 30-22 March 2003 win against Wales. He was named Lloyds TSB Man of the Match for his display against Italy in the 29-12 Scotland victory in February 2002.
Simon was named The Famous Grouse Scotland Player of the Season for 2002-2003, fitting reward for performances encapsulated by his heroic defensive contribution to the game against England when he weighed in with 23 tackles.
In the 2003 World Cup he started in every match.
Taylor suffered a serious knee injury in the final game of the Six Nations in Ireland in 2004.
He returned for the Scotland v Italy Six Nations fixture and lasted the pace well enough for most of the game. He looked more like his old self in the following game vs. Wales on March 13, 2005. After the tournament, he became one of only three Scots named to the Lions for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. In New Zealand he injured a hamstring and did not play a match. It was at that point he considered retiring, but after meeting with his brother in Sydney he decided against it.