Get to know one of the stars of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season

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Crusaders full-back Will Jordan

Date of birth 24 February 1998 Born Christchurch Position Full-back Franchise Crusaders Country New Zealand

When did you first get involved in rugby? 

At about five or six – as soon as I could, for the High School Old Boys club in Christchurch. Growing up I was a keen cricketer – mainly a batsman – and played a bit of rep cricket for Canterbury.

At school I was more of a cricketer than a rugby player. I took cricket more seriously until Year 13, when I started playing full-back and got interest from the Crusaders Academy.

What positions have you played? 

When I first went to high school (Christchurch Boys’ High) I was quite small, so I played half-back for three or four years. Then in Year 13 I got into the first XV at full-back and ever since I’ve played there. I had a big growth spurt in Year 12 and have a fair bit of speed.

Who were your childhood heroes? 

Like a lot of people from Christchurch, I looked up to Dan Carter a lot. As I got older and was playing full-back, Israel Dagg. I got to spend a little bit of time with him at the Crusaders.

When did you link up with the Crusaders? 

When I left school I went to the academy while I was also at uni. I was pretty focused on studying, then the next year I made the New Zealand U20 team and went to the (2017 Junior) World Cup.

We won the final and on the back of that I started to think rugby could be a real job for me. I guess the U20s was the start of my rugby journey.

What are your strengths? 

I like to play with an attacking mindset and my running game is a strength. I like to challenge for the high ball, going up and competing there. Work-ons are my kicking game and positional understanding, which is growing as I get more experience.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? 

From a coaching point of view, Brad Mooar and Andrew Goodman. I learnt a lot from them. Then older players I’ve trained with – Israel Dagg, George Bridge, Ryan Crotty, David Havili…

What’s next for you? 

I’m still reasonably young in my Super Rugby career. I’ve had a few injuries so I’m focused on staying on the field and staying healthy, getting as much game time as I can. I’m not looking too far ahead. The All Blacks would be a huge honour, but I’m focusing on nailing down a consistent role with the Crusaders.

RW VERDICT: A commerce student and keen golfer, Jordan has topped the Super Rugby Aotearoa stats charts in categories like tries, defenders beaten and metres carried during an impressive campaign. He stands out with his ability to counter-attack at pace from deep.

This article originally appeared in the August 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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