Hamilton Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs have signed two rising stars of New Zealand Rugby as 2017 World Rugby Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20s captain Luke Jacobson has committed to the Chiefs until 2020, and his NZ U20s teammate – exceptional playmaker Tiaan Falcon, has signed for two years.
Incoming Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper said: “We are really rapt that Luke and Tiaan will be joining us for the next few years. These are two exceptional signings for the Club which secure the future of the Chiefs. I’m pretty excited to work with both these young men who are quality players with huge potential.”
“It has always been a dream of mine to be a Chief,” said 20-year-old loose forward Luke Jacobson. “I had a small taste of it this year, being a part of the Chiefs team to play in the Global Brisbane 10s tournament and also attending some trainings throughout the year and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m really excited to be a part of the team.”
Tiaan Falcon, 20, said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity with the Chiefs, especially being able to develop my game at 1st five. I’ve heard really good things about the culture and the people at the Chiefs so I’m looking forward to getting there and really embracing this opportunity later in the year.”
Waikato loose forward Luke Jacobson is forging an impressive rugby career. Born in Te Awamutu and raised in Cambridge, Jacobson attended Cambridge High School, earning selection for the New Zealand Schools team in 2014. In 2016 he captained the Waikato U19s in the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19s Tournament, leading his team to Graham Mourie Cup victory and being awarded Player of the Tournament in the process.
Jacobson has experienced the Chiefs development pathways firsthand, having played for the Chiefs U20s team and the University of Waikato Taua Development team, with the latter captained by his brother Mitch. This year he received the Chiefs Under 20s Player of the Year award. The 20-year-old was a prominent figure in the Chiefs Brisbane Global Rugby Tens squad, scoring a superb individual try in the final against the Crusaders.
Exciting first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon was a standout for the New Zealand U20s at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia this year. The accomplished goal kicker was born in Penrith, Australia and moved to New Zealand at age two. He is the son of former Maori All Black and Hurricanes representative Gordon Falcon, grandson of former Maori All Blacks representative Ray Falcon and is a product of Lindisfarne College in Hastings.
In 2016 at just 19 years old, Falcon made his Mitre 10 Cup debut for Hawke’s Bay – following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who also played for the province. He demonstrated great composure and tactical nous in his 10 appearances last year. Falcon is set to play a pivotal role for Hawke’s Bay again this season and further develop his halfback/1st five partnership with Hawke’s Bay and Chiefs teammate Brad Weber.