An interesting newcomer made his debut for the Fylde Hawks on Saturday against Premier League champions Chester 2nds at the Woodlands. Jacob Conner grew up in Northamptonshire, attended Northampton School for Boys and played his junior rugby at Old Northamptonians. He gained representative honours for East Midlands and England U’16s before joining the Northampton Saints Academy on a full-time contract.
He subsequently rather fell out of love with rugby and moved to Lancashire to study for a degree in Hospitality Management at UCLan.
He first trained with the Fylde squad on Tuesday last week and he subsequently started at blindside flanker for the Hawks in their excellent display against Chester on Saturday. His class stood out and he looked a very good player despite his years away from competitive rugby with powerful ball carrying and support running.
Jacob said: “I’m in my 4th and final year at UCLan and, after taking a three year gap in playing the game, I’ve rediscovered my motivation to play at a serious level. I spoke to my old Coach at the Saints and he recommended me to contact Warren Spragg and try my luck at Fylde. Everyone has given me a very warm welcome and it’s a great bunch of lads in the 1sts/2nds squad. It’s a proper rugby club with a good esprit de corps between the players.”
Hawks Coach Dan Orwin said: “Jacob impressed on his first runout for the Club. Having trained just twice, he slotted straight in and made a big impact against Chester. He carried well, tackled well, offered physicality at the breakdown and jumped well in the lineout. Although he’s been out of the game for a while, you can tell he’s played at a high level. His leadership and energy were evident, particularly his defensive organisation and communication.”
Jacob is named at no 8 in Fylde’s starting line-up against Hull Ionians.