Jake Gordon – the man described as a “true blue Tah” – is set to lead the NSW Waratahs into a bold new era after being named the club’s captain.
Waratahs coach Rob Penney unveiled Gordon as skipper on Thursday, anointing the Canterbury and Sydney University product as the perfect man to steer the club back to the top of the Super Rugby mountain.
The 27-year-old halfback has come through the NSW pathways to become a household name with 55 appearances for the Waratahs since he made his debut in 2017.
Penney believes Gordon’s leadership qualities, both on and off the field, make him the top choice for captain.
“Jake was an obvious choice for us as he exemplifies the traits we are looking for in a leader,” Penney said.
“He is a fierce competitor as well as having a really great connection with people. As he steps into this new leadership role he has already shown a real desire to be a collaborative leader who is keen to grow into the role.
“He is a true blue Tah. He is a great bloke and a wonderful player who will give everything he has for the team.
“He has all the qualities and support to be able to lead the side both on and off the field with distinction.”
Gordon feels humbled to continue the Waratahs’ proud tradition of strong leadership.
“You look at the past captains of this team, especially the recent ones, Rob Simmons who played 100 tests for his country and Michael Hooper also the captain of the Wallabies,” Gordon said.
“Growing up I thought to play a game for the Waratahs was a big achievement, and to be able to captain this great state is something I’m very proud of.
“It’s a great privilege to not just represent NSW but also be captain.”
Gordon is particularly enthusiastic about passing on his knowledge to the Waratahs’ cast of rising stars.
“I’m really excited about the new faces in the squad and also some of the guys who got some experience last year, especially internationals like Will Harrison, James Ramm and Lachie Swinton,” he said.
“We’ve also got a couple of graduates from the 2019 U20 World Cup coming through, and guys like Angus Bell and Lachy Swinton who got caps and experience at the Wallaby level last year.”
The Waratahs face the Queensland Reds as part of a trial match in Nairobi on February 5 ahead of the opening round of the Super Rugby Australia in Brisbane against the Reds on February 19.
The first opportunity for NSW fans to see Gordon lead the Tahs will be against the Western Force at Bankwest Stadium on March 5.
Super Rugby debut: 2017
NSW Waratahs caps: 55
Wallaby caps: 5
NSW Junior Club: Canterbury
NSW School Team: Blackwattle Bay
NSW Club: Sydney University