Among the top midfielders in New Zealand rugby over the past few years, Jack Goodhue has wildly exceeded his own expectations.
As opportunities have arisen, the incumbent All Blacks centre has made the most of them. From getting his start in the Mitre 10 Cup with Canterbury before going on to star for the Crusaders and finally at the international level, Goodhue has taken the breaks as they came.
Speaking on The Daily Debrief this week, Goodhue admitted he never expected to reach such great heights in the sport.
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"I always wanted to play for Northland. That was my goal when I was a young fella," Goodhue said.
"Being born there I just had that passion for the province. I guess it was the only professional footy that I would go and watch live and that kind of planted the seed.
"So when I was in high school that was my goal. I didn't make secondary schools or the secondary schools B team; I thought if I could be a Mitre 10 Cup player I'd be happy with that – and then I managed to make Canterbury of all things."
Goodhue made his debut at the provincial level in 2014, but his first two seasons with Canterbury were ended prematurely through concussion (2014) and knee injuries (2015). In 2016, he played an integral role in Canterbury winning the title, and earned a full-time contract with the Crusaders for the following season.
From there, Goodhue has gone from strength to strength and worked hard to better himself.
"I pride myself on being a consistent trainer. I just try to maintain a good training ethic, keep learning and keep getting better," Goodhue explained.
"I think throughout my career when I started my first Crusaders game in 2017, and All Blacks as well at the end of 2017, I've felt like I've grown and kept pushing myself. That's what's helped me and I know I've still got plenty to learn."