Benefitting from the misfortune of others is a recurring story at the Chiefs this Super Rugby season.

Karl Tu'inukuafe has gone from injury cover to All Black, front row colleague Angus Ta'avao has started all bar two matches this season, playing massive minutes by modern standards, while outside back Sean Wainui has blossomed with regular starting opportunities.

You add can Luke Jacobson's name to that list, too.

The 21-year-old loose forward admitted he wasn't expecting to play much in his rookie campaign, and said he was "lucky" to get some minutes under his belt.


Those minutes have come in the form of six straight starts for the club since running out against the Jaguares in May. Incumbent Lachlan Boshier was ruled out due to appendicitis, and Jacobson made the most of his opportunity.

He entered his first season of Super Rugby on the back of captaining the New Zealand Under 20s to a World Championship title last year – "the highlight of my career so far" - and had a solid season for Waikato in the Mitre 10 Cup. However, he says Super Rugby has been a big jump.

"To start off with, it was definitely a huge step up compared with what I've played before, mainly physically but also the speed of the game as well.

"But we're out here training with some of the best physical players [in the world] like Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane, so just being on the training ground and playing against it, game to game, you adjust to it slowly."

Boshier makes his return to the match-day squad this week, but Jacobson's strong play has seen him hold his spot in the No 6 jersey.

The Hautapu product has found great confidence running out alongside Liam Messam - one of the legends of that club.

"It's pretty awesome as Liam was definitely one of the players I looked up to as a younger fella. [It was] a little intimidating when I first met him."

Jacobson, Messam and the rest of the Chiefs forwards will be ready for a physical test this weekend, with the David Pocock-led Brumbies coming to town. Jacobson was quick to praise Pocock, saying the Australian is physicality epitomised.


"We're going to have to be crisp around our cleanouts, around the breakdown because he's pretty good over the ball," Jacobson said.

"We still go out there and try to do the same things with our jobs and if he comes into the zone, we make sure we do it because if we slip up a little bit, he'll take advantage it."

Nathan Harris returns to the Chiefs pack this week, while in the backline Shaun Stevenson starts on the wing with Sean Wainui moving into the midfield for Anton Lienert-Brown who is observing a mandatory All Blacks stand down week.

Chiefs: Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu, Sean Wainui, Charlie Ngatai, Shaun Stevenson, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (c), Luke Jacobson, Tyler Ardron, Michael Allardice, Angus Ta'avao, Nathan Harris, Karl Tu'inukuafe.

Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Sam Prattley, Jeff Thwaites, Jesse Parete, Lachlan Boshier, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty McKenzie, Johnny Fa'auli.

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