EDINBURGH centre George Taylor believes that the PRO14 must take account of how well his own and other teams have done so far when they decide how to call a halt to this season.

So far PRO14 organisers have only announced the indefinite suspension of the league and the cancellation of the final that was due to have been played in Cardiff in June, while also stating that if any final is to be played as part of this season, it should be

hosted by the team with the best league record. As things stand that is Conference A leaders Leinster, while Edinburgh have the next best record and are top of Conference B.

But Taylor said that, although he and his team-mates had talked informally about what might happen, the bottom line for him was their efforts had to be noted in some fashion by the league.

“We need a recognition of how well the season has gone,” the 23-year-old said yesterday. “There

was chat that we’d manage to play Glasgow at home in the 1872 decider, and there was chat that as it stands we would be having a home semi against one of the other teams who are second or third, I think.

“For the season to be void it would be pretty dampening on all the players and Cockers [Richard Cockerill] as coach. I would like to think the season does finish off in some way. It would be good to have another game to try and reach the final if there is one.

“It’s not something the staff or players have spoken about together,” Taylor continued when asked if the prospect of a straight shootout between Edinburgh and Leinster in Dublin had been discussed. “We take it game by game and obviously our next game is unknown. That’s why we’re training to keep our fitness levels as high, to be prepared for the next game, whatever that may be.”

With Glasgow Warriors currently third in Conference B, there is still a possibility that the two Scottish sides will meet in the play-offs. Even if the play-offs are scrapped, a final is ruled out and no more rugby is played in the 2019-20 season, a decision will be needed on European places for next season. Presuming that decision is based on current league placings, both Edinburgh and Glasgow, as top-three sides in their respective conferences, will be in the Champions Cup for 2020-21.

“Obviously Europe is another difficult one and there will be a lot of discussion about it,” Taylor added. “But as players we’ve done everything we can to put ourselves in the position, and it’s just unfortunate that this has come when it has.”

Since the season was suspended, Taylor has been doing some work with the family firm, Merlin Vet, in the Borders. Lifting boxes of veterinary pharmaceuticals has helped him keep in condition, but he has also been given a fairly rigorous fitness programme by the Edinburgh strength and conditioning team.

“The Edinburgh S&C guys are pretty switched on in terms of keeping our fitness levels up,” he explained. “They did a home delivery before all this lockdown happened with a lot of gym equipment and accessories for all the players, so they know what each player has and they’re sending out personal programmes in accordance with the equipment. In terms of the programme, we’re still running, doing fitness sessions three times a week, we’re in the gym three times a week, so the S&C staff and the players are doing their best to keep us in shape.

“No-one really knows when and if [the season] will re-commence. We’re still staying ahead of the game just in case it does. There would be nothing worse than if you were told you’ve got two weeks until your next game and all our players were unprepared.”

For the time being at least, Taylor and his team-mates, as well as their counterparts at Scotstoun, remain on full pay. Cockerill and other leading coaches, along with SRU chief executive Mark Dodson, agreed salary deferrals on Tuesday, but Taylor said he had yet to be informed of anything similar being suggested for the players - most of whom, in any case, earn substantially less than the union boss and the leading coaches.

“There has been no discussion about that. As far as we know salaries remain the same. We’ve got a good team working around us, and everything that progresses on that front, we’re the first ones to know. As far as I’m aware there’s nothing been mentioned to us.

“There’s been a couple of discussions within the SRU, Mark Dodson taking a deferral. But from the players’ union we’ve only been updated about that. They are the first people to get information about salaries, so there’s been nothing to the players as yet.”