The Brumbies have announced that 2016 Australian U20 representatives Jordan Jackson-Hope and Faaleleli Sione have both signed on with the Super Rugby’s Extended Playing Squad for 2017.
Having represented the Brumbies and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Schoolboys in junior ranks for a number of years, Jackson-Hope trained with the UC Vikings National Rugby Championship (NRC) and represented the ACT Griffins in 2015, before linking with the Super Rugby outfit for pre-season training. He was quickly signed to a development contract with the Brumbies Super Rugby squad.
The St Edmund’s College product then captained the Brumbies Colts U20s side in the inaugural Super U20s competition before earning selection in the Australian side for the U20 World Championships in Manchester.
Prior to the U20 World Championships, Jackson-Hope was selected for his Super Rugby debut against the Melbourne Rebels in which he set up a crucial try with a cutout pass on his first touch in professional Rugby.
A week later, in just his second match for the Brumbies, Jackson-Hope scored his maiden Super Rugby try against the Sunwolves in front of family and friends at GIO Stadium.
Continuing his memorable 2016, Jackson-Hope was named Man of the Match in the Tuggeranong Vikings dramatic 26-22 win over Queanbeyan in the John I Dent Cup Grand Final after scoring one try, having a hand in another and coming up with a game-winning turnover just metres from the try-line after the final siren.
Currently a member of the UC Vikings 2016 NRC squad, Jackson-Hope is very pleased to be staying with the Brumbies to further his professional career.
“Supporting the Brumbies as a kid, it was always a dream to play for them,” Jackson-Hope told the Brumbies' official website.
“It’s great to have signed a new contract and have my future sorted with the club for next year.
“Having a taste of Super Rugby this year just drives me to continue working hard and developing my game and I’m very proud to be doing that here in Canberra with the Brumbies.”
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham said it was pleasing to have Jackson-Hope signed on for next season to the Brumbies Extended Playing Squad.
“We saw this year that he is up to the challenge of Super Rugby,” said Larkham.
“We’ve been very impressed with his performances at training and on the field all year.
“It’s great to see a Canberra junior come through the ranks of our Pathways program and we are looking forward to seeing Jordan’s game develop to another level, here at the Brumbies in 2017.”
Australian U20 prop Sione will link with the Brumbies Super Rugby side in 2017 as his rise from Canberra juniors to the elite ranks continues.
Sione represented Australian at the 2016 Under 20s World Championships in Manchester earlier this year after a standout season for the Brumbies U20s Colts sides in the inaugural Super U20s.
The 20-year-old former Calwell High School student has made a steady rise through the ranks to become one of the ACT’s most promising young front rowers.
A former ACT U16 and U18 representative, Sione represented the Australian U20 side on four occasions in 2016, crossing for one try against NSW Country in a warmup match ahead of the World Championships.
In 2015, Sione was a member of the Canberra Royals Championship winning Colts side and in 2016 became one of the side’s key players in first grade (John I Dent Cup).
Strong performances for Royals led to his selection in the University of Canberra Vikings side for the 2016 National Rugby Championship (NRC). He has appeared in each match of the opening three rounds and has been named to make a fourth consecutive appearance for the UC Vikings this weekend.
Larkham is looking forward to having Sione join the Super Rugby squad on an Extended Playing Squad (EPS) contract when pre-season begins later this year.
“Faalelei is a prop with great game knowledge and vision around the field,” he said.
“He’s got good skills for a big man and we are hoping he continues to progress his game over the pre-season alongside the likes of Ben Alexander, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa.
“We’ve seen over the early rounds of the NRC that he is ready to make the next step in his career.
“Having another Canberra junior join the squad is a great reflection of the Brumbies Pathways Program, which is helping to develop our juniors into elite players.
“We’re looking forward to having him join the Super Rugby squad and continue his development over the next year.”