‘Wasn’t hesitant’: Why Will Jordan should be the All Blacks’ fullback
All Blacks and Crusaders outside back Will Jordan “didn’t really miss a beat” as he made his highly anticipated return to Super Rugby Pacific last weekend.
Jordan missed the All Blacks’ end-of-season tour with the All Blacks last year, and was also ruled out of the opening 10 rounds of the Super Rugby season with an inner-ear issue.
Fans, pundits and retired greats regularly speculated about when Jordan could return for the Crusaders – but every week, his name was omitted from the team sheet.
Well, until last Thursday.
When the Crusaders named their team to play the Western Force in round 11, Jordan was included in the starting XV at fullback.
Jordan setup teammate Leicester Fainga’anuku for two tries, and also ran for an incredible 137 metres from nine carries. The 26-year-old wasn’t just great on Saturday – in truth, he was sensational.
Rugby World Cup winning fullback Mils Muliaina praised the returning All Black for his performance after spending a “long time” on the sidelines.
“He’s been out for a long, long time,” Muliaina said on The Breakdown. “Didn’t go on the end-of-year tour but it almost seemed like he didn’t really miss a beat.
“That long pass that we’ve just seen in the opener there, that is something that we haven’t sort of seen in his game.
Welcome back Will Jordan! 👏
Jordan sets up Leicester Fainga’anuku for this @crusadersrugby try 💪#CRUvFOR #SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/BMaeJr5XYJ
— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 6, 2023
“The confidence to be able to do that considering that he has had, and also not really knowing and being unsure about what injury he did have.”
Jordan was sensational for the champion Crusaders at Orangetheory Stadium, as he showcased his elite skill and brilliance in the No. 15 jersey.
It was the type of performance that any player would love to replicate – and Jordan did it after a significant time out of the game.
While Jordan may have only played one game this season, Jeff Wilson believes the Crusader should play out the back for the All Blacks later this year.
“He wasn’t hesitant at one stage, or at any stage during that game,” former All Black Jeff Wilson said.
“He took contact like he’s taken contact before, he looked like he was confident, understood his role, he looked like a fullback.
“All of a sudden I write down another name and go, ‘come on mate, just one more week, one more week.’
“The Crusaders chances have significantly improved with him on the field.
“If he stays healthy, if he stays fit playing fullback for that side, their chances of winning this competition are better than they have been all season.
“He’s an All Black fullback.”
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Gavin Hastings, was playing was he? 🤔Go to comments
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