Jack was born in Truro and grew up in Newlyn. His family have been fishermen for many generations and some have also played rugby for Penzance and Newlyn. Jack went to Newlyn School, Mounts Bay Academy and Truro College.
Jack didn’t like rugby at first and refused to play when his mother took him to practice. However, he soon began to love the sport and progressed well in the Penzance and Newlyn Rugby Club youth section. Jack became such a good player that he was selected by the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club Academy, and was coached at their base at Truro College. He played his first game for Redruth Rugby Club aged 16. He was also selected to play for Cornwall’s under-18 team and England’s under-18, under-20 and Saxons teams (the Saxons are the second senior England rugby team).
Between 2010 and 2012, Jack played seasons at Redruth and Plymouth Albion rugby clubs. At the age of 19, he played his first game in the Premiership (the top division) with Exeter Chiefs. That season he won the ‘Breakthrough Player of the Year’ award, given to the best new player in the Premiership.
Jack played his first game for the senior England rugby team during the Six Nations Championship on 1st February 2014. With the very first touch of the game, he “knocked-on” (accidentally knocked the ball forward). France went on to score a try because of this mistake. However, Jack was determined not to let this upset him. During the game he ran more metres with the ball than any other England player. The England coaches picked him for the next game because he had not let his early mistake get him down. They were right to do this, as he scored his first try for England, beating Italy 52 – 11.
The World Cup and 2016 Six Nations
In 2015, Jack scored three tries in his first World Cup game against Uruguay – only five other England players have ever scored three tries in a World Cup game. Jack, with fellow Cornishman Luke Cowan-Dickie, helped England to win the 2016 Six Nations Championship. Both Jack and Luke celebrated winning the championship with Cornish flags.
Did you know?
In his Survey of Cornwall, written in 1602, Richard Carew described the Cornish game of hurling. The description sounds very much like the modern game of rugby, with many of the same rules. It is perhaps the earliest description of rugby ever recorded.