Jordan Jackson-Hope hopes to improve on his debut Super Rugby season. Photo: Elesa Kurtz Tom Banks has moved to Canberra to join the Brumbies. Photo: Brumbies Media
Jordan Jackson-Hope’s head is still spinning after a 12-month journey from barman to winning his first Super Rugby contract, but the two-game rookie has vowed use his dream year to get even better.
Jackson-Hope is part of a new breed of ACT Brumbies using the pre-season to launch their bid for game time in the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The 20-year-old impressed Brumbies coaches so much last year they offered him a part-time deal to train with the squad before throwing him into an unexpected debut.
He scored with his first touch in professional rugby and then finished the year with two tries from two games in 39 minutes from the bench.
But the former St Edmund’s College student says doesn’t want to become a one-hit wonder.
“I know what to expect coming into [training] now, but it’s always going to be hard,” Jackson-Hope said.
“The past couple of years I’ve had guys like [Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano] mentoring me, but they’ve gone now so the ownership is back on me.
“I just scraped into the training group last year. Looking back it has been a big year, but I don’t want to dwell on it too much.
“I’ve got goals for 2017 and I just want to look forward, not back. I know there’s a lot more work to do.”
Inside centre Jackson-Hope is set for a showdown with Wallaby Kyle Godwin and Anthony Faingaa as the trio battle for the No.12 duties next year.
Jackson-Hope has also spent time as a flyhalf in his junior rugby career, but says his focus is on learning the inside centre craft despite the absence of Toomua and Lealiifano.
The Brumbies are ushering in a new-look squad after the departure of key players, with Larkham turning to young talent for a foundation of future success.
Queensland recruit Tom Banks is another two-game rookie who has spent the past two years biding his time at the Reds waiting for a chance.
He made his debut in 2015 and then got another game last season before the fullback decided the chase an opportunity at the Brumbies.
Banks and Aidan Toua will go head-to-head for the No.15 jersey but the 22-year-old is willing to bide his time.
“I’d definitely like to get some more Super Rugby experience so I can push for more game time,” Banks said.
“I came down because it was a good opportunity for me and it was a good change to have a crack.
“[Having two games in two years] is frustrating, but it does give you a lot of motivation.
“The experience was so good and it just made me hungry for more.”
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