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Hotshot: New Zealand U20 captain Luke Jacobson

In the clear: Luke Jacobson en route to a try in the 2017 Junior World Cup final. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

We find out more about New Zealand’s U20 World Championship-winning skipper Luke Jacobson


Date of birth 20 April 1997 Position Back-row Club Waikato

When did you first play rugby?

I was five years old and it was for my primary school. I used to play in the backs up until Year 11, so when I was 16. Then in Years 12 and 13 I moved to the forwards.

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Why the switch?

I was put in the backs because we didn’t have many in school. I always wanted to be a loose forward. It’s in the name – link with the backs, have a bit of a run, get into rucks and do the dirty work as well.

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What was it like to play in the 2016 Junior World Cup with your brother, Mitch?

Awesome. Looking back now, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’ve played a little bit for the club and hopefully we’ll play for rep teams as well. Ideally I’d like to play with both my brothers (Mitch and Kane) – we’re only done that once before.

What was it like playing at the Brisbane 10s?

It was a really cool experience. I was one of the youngest boys there and played alongside Liam Messam and Tim Nanai-Williams. It was great to see how professionals do things, how they hold themselves. We won that as well so it was an awesome experience.

Triumph: Luke Jacobson lifts the Junior World Cup after NZ's 64-17 win over England. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

You captained New Zealand at the U20 World Cup…

It’s a huge honour to be able to do that, to lead the boys onto the field.

What are your aims for the next 12 months?

This year I’m trying to work towards playing for my region back in Waikato and getting a cap for them.

RW Verdict: He led New Zealand to a big win at the Junior World Cup in Georgia, is part of the Chiefs development squad and is expected to go professional next season, with his accuracy and consistency standing out.

This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of Rugby World.

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