Jackson-Hope happy to wait for Brumbies start

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jordan Jackson-Hope is happy to bide his time at the Brumbies in a bid to win the inside centre spot, as he begins his first full-time season with the squad.

The junior star has his sights set on the 12 spot long-term, though he dabbled at flyhalf for the Australian Schoolboys, and said he was willing to be patient.

Canberra’s inside backs pairing will be an intriguing one in 2017, with Matt Toomua in Leicester and Christian Lealiifano ruled out for a year with illness, opening up the battle for the 10 and 12 spots.

The addition of former Western Force playmaker Kyle Godwin to their ranks will make the inside centre pecking order harder to crack, but Jackson-Hope isn’t worried.

“I'm happy to bide my time coming off the bench... but I do want to cement a starting position later on down the track and i think I'd like to be a 12,”- Jordan Jackson-Hope.

“[In] Aussie Schoolboys I was picked as a 10 but I played a lot of that competition at 12 as well.

“They're both quite interchangeable positions but I'd say I'm more of a 12 that can play 10.

“There's some competition for all those inside back spots. It’s  not really my place to say who gets selected - but all I can do is put in a good performance on the training pitch and if the opportunity comes up I'd grab it with both hands and make the most of it.”

The biggest challenge this preseason has been a greater responsibility on the Brumbies players with Stephen Larkham working in Japan after his Wallabies coaching season finished up, not returning to Canberra until after Christmas.

Jordan Jackson-Hope is happy to play the waiting game. Photo: Brumbies RugbyNext season will be Larkham’s last full-time year with the Brumbies, before taking on the national attack job as his sole responsibilty.

With a young cohort and Larkham’s absence, Jackson-Hope said he and the other developing players were taking a bigger role.

"I guess the last couple of years I've had guys like Pup [Matt Toomua] and Christian [Lealiifano] to look up to and mentor me," he said.

Those guys are gone so the ownership's a bit more on yourself and especially with Bernie [Larkham’ being away we've got [Tuggeranong head coach] Tim Sampson coming in who's been very helpful but it's a lot about taking ownership of yourself.”

Another interesting battle in Canberra will be played out at fullback, with Aidan Toua working back from injury, while fellow Queenslander Tom Banks has arrived in the ACT, after two Super Rugby appearances north.

Tom Banks is settling into Canberra life. Photo: Brumbies RugbyBanks said Toua had been one of his greatest allies since the move, helping him adjust to a new playing style.

“He's [Toua] a really explosive fullback. I guess I can learn a lot off him, which I've been trying to do and he's been helping me a lot so far but I think if I can continue to develop and hone in on my skills with the help of Aidan and the other players, I think it'll be really beneficial,” he said.

The Brumbies open their 2017 season against the Crusaders across the ditch on February 25.

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