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Ex-Blackrock prop Jager features in Super Rugby trial match for Crusaders

The Ireland Schools-capped prop was on the bench alongside Joe Moody and Codie Taylor.

FORMER IRELAND U18 Schools international Oliver Jager featured for the Crusaders in their 31-3 hammering of the Queensland Reds in a Super Rugby trial match last weekend.

The Blackrock College alumnus was included on the Crusaders’ bench alongside All Black World Cup winners Joe Moody and Codie Taylor.

Oliver Jager with Cormac Brennan Jager consoles a Roscrea player after Blackrock's 2013 LSSC semi-final win. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Naas man Jager started at tighthead for Blackrock in their victorious Leinster Schools Senior Cup final clash against St. Michael’s College in 2013.

That same Blackrock team also included current Leinster star Garry Ringrose, as well as Ireland U20 internationals Jack Power, Jeremy Loughman, David O’Connor and Nick Timoney, and Leinster academy scrum-half Charlie Rock.

Jager also represented Ireland Schools in a squad that featured several of his Blackrock teammates and the likes of current Ireland U20 captain James Ryan, Oisin Heffernan, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy.

Jager – who was also a fine shot-putter in his youth – was not picked up by the Irish provinces after school and instead departed to New Zealand to join the International High Performance Unit in Canterbury.

The tighthead’s impressive form for the New Brighton club in Christchurch throughout 2015 earned him a call-up to join the seven-times Super Rugby-winning Crusaders for their pre-season schedule building into the upcoming season.

Oliver Jager with Sam Pim Jager carries the ball against Kilkenny College in 2013. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The former Naas RFC front row subsequently secured a place on the bench for last weekend’s friendly clash with the Reds, a game in which Todd Blackadder’s men steamrolled the Australian franchise.

With the Crusaders set to face the Highlanders, Super Rugby’s reigning champions, on Thursday in their next trial match and then the Hurricanes on 19 February, it remains to be seen what involvement Jager has.

Even promotion onto their bench for last weekend’s win over the Reds is a major achievement for a talented young Irish player.

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Murray Kinsella

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