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Jack Lam: Workhorse Epitomised

Club Rugby | 19 March 2014 | Jack Biggs

Jack Lam: Workhorse Epitomised

Jack Lam crossing for a try playing for Waikato against the Wellington Lions in the 2010 ITM Cup.

After nearly four seasons with the Hurricanes,Jack Lam is set to embark on another chapter in his exalted career.

English side Bristol is lucky enough to have signed the services of Lam at the end of the ‘Canes 2014 campaign.

Lam has had quite the globetrotting career for a 26-year old.? His journey began in Hamilton from where he was born in 1987. Lam soon moved to Wellington before a massive change saw Jack and his family make the big move to the Australian capital, Canberra.

"I didn't really have a say in it. It was a family decision. Mum and dad had work opportunities so we got dragged along but we were pretty young."

Having spent nearly the entirety of his youth in Canberra, part of Lam still remains there.

"Canberra's still pretty much home for me, I grew up there for most of my childhood."

Lam was educated at St Edmund's College, and while there he flourished and realised that his dream was to play professional rugby. Making the Australian Secondary School's squad in both 2004 and 2005 was a great start.

"That's where I got that drive to push on for higher honours. One year [2004] I played as a back and then I was into the forwards the year after [2005].

"Our 1st XV coach for St Edmunds was our secondary schools coach so it was his decision after seeing me in too many rucks. But I loved it."

Although it was a struggle to leave New Zealand's shores as an adolescent it did prove fruitful and developed his rugby into the quality performer he is today. His parents left New Zealand for better opportunities and their children's futures in mind.

RLM

"They've been there for everything. They've always taken me to all my games and helped me out. Dad was always a big influence in improving my game and telling me where I should be."

Thankfully, New Zealand rugby was not lost to the Waikato-born loose-forward. Lam found himself playing ITM cup for Tasman in 2008.

"I actually came over and was fortunate to make ITM cup side. I had a dream of playing for the Brumbies but then eventually I came back to Waikato where I was reminded that it had all started here. It's funny how things happen."

After his stint at Tasman and then back to the Tron, Lam had finally made his mark on New Zealand and was ready for even higher honours. The Hurricanes were calling for his services and Lam relished under the franchise in his debut season of 2011.

"I remember every detail. I got a phone call, wasn't sure if I'd pick it up because it was a private number but it was Hammer [Mark Hammett] on the other end. After a couple of months in Wellington I realised that I may actually play as well."

And play he did. Lam played in every game of the Hurricanes 2011 season to full-effect. He has been a main-stayer ever since. His work-rate is unquestionable and he will be sorely missed next season.

"I kept trying to put my best foot forward to make the team each week which was special in my debut year."

However, there is plenty of time left in his final season for the Hurricanes. It is early days in the campaign and the ‘Canes seem to have turned a corner after laying 60 points on the Cheetahs last Saturday. Lam is adamant that his sole focus is on the remainder of the season and giving his all for the jersey as he has done time and time again.

"It was a massive turnaround from the previous weeks.? Although we didn't change too much we just couldn't seem to finish. We tweaked it a little bit and we clicked. It all paid off.

?"I'll be going 100% and giving it everything."

Despite what speculation may have been dribbled in the media the Hurricanes camp is happy and positive despite early setbacks.

?"There's always a positive feeling here. We haven't dwelled too much on the first couple of games".

Lam, at 26, has already ticked many boxes in his career the pinnacle being his national call-up for Samoa last June.

"Playing for Samoa was an experience I thought I'd never have. Playing alongside my uncle, Seilala Mapusua, was very special."

Bristol will be over-the-moon with their acquisition of the Hurricanes' workhorse. Timing is key in all facets of life and Lam felt it was time for a change.

"I was in talks with a few clubs. While I'm in one piece I thought it was a good decision. The opportunity came up and I jumped on it."

"I spoke to my parents and they were all good so I thought I'd get it out of the way before the season started."

There is still work to be done in his swansong season with the Hurricanes and Lam is the last person who needs reminding.

The ‘Canes take on the Highlanders in their first New Zealand derby match this Friday and the loose-forward trio of Faifili Levave (8), Ardie Savea(7), and the man himself (6)paints a pretty picture.

At 26 there is no reason why he may not return in the future as he would "never rule it out".

Either way, the Hurricanes and NZ rugby have been lucky to have his services.

He is set to light-up for Bristol and will be missed in the golden jersey next season.

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