Taylor ready for giant AFL job on Franklin

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Sam Taylor was a nine-year-old Hawthorn supporter glued to the TV as Lance Franklin booted his iconic 100th goal of the 2008 AFL season.

On Saturday, GWS key defender Taylor is likely to be tasked with playing party pooper in Launceston as he seeks to stall Franklin's quest for 1000 career goals in the derby elimination final.

Sydney superstar Franklin needs eight goals to reach the milestone this weekend, meaning it will take something special.

But the four-time Coleman medallist has repeatedly proven his capacity to produce exactly that, as Taylor knows all too well.

"I remember as a kid watching the 100th goal. I was at a friend's place, it was just crazy seeing everyone rush onto the field," Taylor told AAP.

"For someone to do that (be approaching 1000 goals) in the modern era is just ridiculous.

"I still think he's the best key forward at the moment, he is so dangerous because of his size, strength, pace. There's no other forwards like that.

"You can't really drop off him. He's just a really great player and does everything well."

Franklin kicked a combined nine goals on Taylor in two regular-season derbies this year.

The 317-gamer even offered his 22-year-old opponent a tip about body positioning in the last quarter of their previous meeting, when the Swans surged to a 26-point win.

Taylor, whose recent eight intercept marks and blanketing of Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins helped ignite a three-game winning streak that lifted GWS into the finals, won't be overawed.

"Playing those two games earlier in the year on him, it better prepares me now with bigger stakes on the line," Taylor said.

"I'll watch my vision, watch games this year when he's been beaten.

"I'll just go out and play the way I have the last four weeks."

Last year, Taylor lost 10 kilograms and the capacity to walk at the low point of his debilitating battle with a bacterial infection that attacked his wrist, ankle, hip and back.

The backman was out of hospital but still struggling to put weight back on during the 2020 finals, creating a unique sense of gratitude.

"It's crazy how far I've come since. I just feel very lucky," he said.

The duel between Franklin and former GWS captain Phil Davis has been an intriguing subplot throughout so many derbies since the forward's shock shift to the SCG.

Davis has been unable to force his way back into the Giants' side since a round-20 concussion but, even if overlooked again, will still play a key role preparing the back line.

"Phil is probably the smartest footy brain I've come across. He reads the game so well, it's amazing having his wealth of knowledge," Taylor said.

"Speaking to him before a game, it always settles any nerves if I have them."

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