Sam Taylor and Sam Wicks compete during Greater Western Sydney's clash against Sydney in round 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER Western Sydney star Sam Taylor has lit the fuse ahead of Saturday's mammoth derby at the SCG, labelling Sydney "smug".

Taylor says he's ready to go for the clash between the second-placed Swans and his third-placed Giants after the sickening head clash against St Kilda in round six that has sidelined him for the past two weeks with concussion.

And there's every chance he'll receive some attention from the Sydney players come the bounce on Saturday after being asked about the feeling between the two sets of players.

"I do respect them, they're a great team with great players. I respect how their players go about it but there is a lot of dislike. Once we get on the field, we want to beat them and want to smack them and come away with the win," Taylor said.

"They're young and firing, they're a bit smug, it comes from that as well.

"They're chirpy on the field. It's fun to play against them, I can't wait to play them."


The Swans have won three of the last four derbies, including away to the Giants in round 21 last season.

Taylor is out to recreate that winning feeling against their rivals which he says is unmatched in the home and away season.

"Definitely and the last three finals as well beating them, that's been good," he said.

"It keeps building and building and now that we're second and third there's a lot in it. They're probably the benchmark at the moment, the best team. The way they're playing at the moment they're very tough to play against and I'm pretty keen to play them."

As for Taylor's return to the team for the derby from the serious concussion he suffered in Canberra, he says that's well and truly on track.


"I'm close. I need to get through training Tuesday and Thursday and do some tackling and contest stuff but I'm feeling great and ready to go," he said.

"I'm symptom free, everything's gone. I didn't have any headaches, that was good. It was just a bit of dizziness early on but I'm back to normal which is great."

The All-Australian full-back says he initially pleaded with the Giants doctor to return for last Thursday night's game against Brisbane but ultimately agreed the best decision was made to let him rest for another week after a heavy collision that he admits was scary for him to experience.

"I just went about my business, playing tough and playing hard and out of nowhere I got concussed and yeah it was a bit scary," Taylor said.

"I didn't want to but I have seen it back a few times. Just the double hit into the chin and into the ground, it did a bit of work.

Sam Taylor dives for a mark during the match between West Coast and Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"I remember the first 10 minutes of the game but the actual incident I don't remember and don't remember much of the next 30 minutes. But once I got to the hospital, everything from there I remember.

"I'll definitely be more careful with my head and won't charge in head first. I'll try protect myself a bit more. But I want to win and compete as hard as I can and that won't change."

Taylor is set to be one of three huge inclusions for the Swans blockbuster along with Stephen Coniglio, who he said trained well on Friday, and captain Toby Greene.

Toby Greene looks dejected after Greater Western Sydney's loss to Carlton in round six, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The selection decisions for the Giants will therefore be fascinating with Brent Daniels an unused sub last week while small forwards Darcy Jones and Harvey Thomas impressed.

Leek Aleer has taken Taylor's place down back for the past two games and looked more than comfortable in the key defensive role but may be an unfortunate omission.

"I live with him, I get to experience it with him. If he played for any other club he'd be playing (every week). He's great," Taylor said.

"The thing about Leek is he has the best mindset about football and getting picked. He just wants to get better. It'll come and he'll be a great player."