Just prior to this season beginning three stalwarts of Taunton RFC – Jack Matthews, Jerry Winter and Richard Walford – sat down to pick their best post-War Taunton XV. Each home game this season we’ll be putting forward their selections of the outstanding players position by position from the last 70 years. Do you agree with them?
Week One: Prop Forwards
The debate kicked off in the front row with two positions up for discussion. At loose head prop there were several names banded about. Ben Moon (25 caps) went on to win the Premiership and the European Cup with Exeter Chiefs and certainly merited consideration, as did Jake Woolmore (73 caps) who now plies his trade at the top level with Bristol Bears. Both were thought to have given their best rugby years after their time at Hyde Park though. The one name everyone mentioned and settled on was Roger Farthing. A former club captain, the panel described him as a mobile prop and a great loose head who went on to play for Bristol before coming back and eventually being club President. Unusually for a prop forward, he took kicks with a straight-as-a-die toe-poke technique.
On the other side of the scrum, a good number of names were proposed with honourable mentions going to Chris Burrows, Russell Gibson and Eddie Cooper. Ultimately the selection committee was happy to agree on current tighthead, Isaac Dalton (123 caps, 36 Trys). Jack described him as “a powerful unit who has been with us for a long time now.” Richard pointed out that he has “really matured as a player during that time”, earning the nickname ‘Sniffer’ for his ability to distinguish the whitewash from the mud at close range. Jerry added that he was named as National League Two Player of the Season in the promotion year.