Friday, June 02, 2017

Kilcullen connection in tomorrow's Lions rugby match in New Zealand

When the British and Irish Lions rugby team line out tomorrow in their first match of their tour of New Zealand against a Provincial Barbarians side, there will be a Kilcullen connection to the game.

That connection is not on the Lions side but on the Barbarians side. Lining out in the front row at Number Three for the Barbarians is one Oliver Jager, grandson of John and Monica Martin of Moanbane Park. Oliver is also the nephew of the Martin brothers, Patrick, John and Enda, who figured in the past on the local rugby scene.

Oliver's mother Therese and father Harm are in New Zealand for the game.

Oliver currently plays as a prop for Canterbury in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and for the Crusaders in the international Super Rugby competition. He attended Blackrock College in Dublin, where his father, Harm Jager, was a strength and conditioning coach. Harm previously represented the Netherlands in water polo.

Oliver travelled to New Zealand in 2013 to attend the Crusaders International High Performance Unit and subsequently turned out for the Crusaders Academy and the Crusaders Knights development team. During this time he also started playing club rugby in the Canterbury area with New Brighton RFC.