Peacock on Naylor — ‘ one of my early mentors’Date published: Thursday, December 3, 2015
A FASCINATING insight into the qualities of Scott Naylor the player is provided by the legendary and recently retired former Bradford, Leeds and Great Britain star Jamie Peacock.
Naylor, League One’s 2015 coach of the year and currently preparing his young Oldham side for their first crack at Championship rugby, was a senior member of the brilliant Bradford side when a young Peacock was starting out on a career that was to provide him with every honour in rugby league.
Describing the Roughyeds boss as one of his five early mentors — alongside Brian McDermott, James Lowes, Mike Forshaw and Bernard Dwyer —– Peacock said: “Scott was incredibly under-rated.
“He was a nightmare for opponents, but he looked after me, even socially, and we had some good times together.
“In my early days I had a gang of five who invested a great deal of time on and off the field to guide me in the right direction, whether they knew it or not.
“They provided me with the perfect apprenticeship.”
Writing in his book, ‘Jamie Peacock, No White Flag’, the former superstar and current TV pundit, describes how Naylor wrapped up Wigan’s Australian Test centre Steve Renouf in a Super League Grand Final against the Bulls.
“Scott was an expert at that. He unsettled some of the game’s greats.
“He was horrible to them, getting in their ear as well as giving them a physical working over which, more often than not, put them off their natural game. They were suddenly too busy being wary of him.
“A genuine, salt-of-the-earth unassuming type, he knew what his abilities were and he always played to the best of them.
“He loved to moan, but that was his way of getting through training. By the time he got to Bradford his body was knackered, but he did the best he could.
“You need players like that in any successful team; guys who are prepared to be great defenders.
“You won’t necessarily see them scoring spectacular 60-metre tries, but you find that those wearing the other team’s colours who should be influential are completely bottled up.
“Scott was a great club man and a good, honest bloke who was true to people and loyal.
“He could drink, but he knew the right time to have a beer. He wasn’t the hardest trainer, but he always did his job once he crossed the whitewash — and he played through the pain barrier on a vast number of occasions.”