Stars halfback Jake Gordon joins Waratahs for 2016
By Henry Jacobs
Sydney Stars and Sydney University halfback Jake Gordon has signed for the NSW Waratahs on a one-year deal for the 2016 season.
The 22-year-old trained with the Waratahs extended playing squad in 2015 and has earned a promotion to train with the top squad ahead of next season.
“Being in a professional environment, getting paid to play rugby and play with professional players is what I’m most excited about,” Gordon said
“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity, I’ve been training there for the last month and obviously it’s a step up, so it has been great.”
Gordon will fill the void left by Brendan McKibbin, who has departed to join London Irish in the English premiership
A member of the University first grade side since 2013, he credits the program for his development as a player and will join newly appointed assistant coach Chris Malone at Moore Park next year.
“Sydney Uni offer so much to their players and it’s probably the closest thing to a professional environment in the Shute Shield,” Gordon said.
“Obviously I’ve been training for Uni and the schedule is five days a week, so the jump hasn’t been too big.”
Gordon will play with the Sydney Stars in this year’s NRC and see’s the competition as a vital avenue for young players’ progression.
“[The NRC] is a step up from Shute Shield and you get to test yourself against Super Rugby players and see where you are at, so I think its great for people that aren’t sure really where they stand in Super Rugby level and offers that opportunity,” he said.
He hopes to use the remaining matches to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in 2016.
“I just want to get a bit of confidence, work on a few things in my game that I need to work on and consolidate,” Gordon said.
The Stars are on top of the NRC ladder after a 45-29 victory over the North Harbour Rays in round one.
After winning only one match in 2014 Peter Playford’s side is looking to make it two from two when it hosts QLD Country at Leichhardt Oval this evening.
“Tonight is a big test for us and if we get two wins on the board it’s a good step in the right direction,” Gordon said
“Leichhardt Oval is a good place to play at, obviously a lot of great players have played there and QLD Country got 53 points last time we played, so it will be good to get one back on them.”