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Young Gun: Tom Jubb –Saracens lock

Tom JubbWith Richard Hill as his academy coach and Steve Borthwick his club captain, Saracens lock Tom Jubb could not be better placed to learn the dark arts of forward play.

And the 6ft 6in powerhouse from Luton admits he is reaping the benefits of coming through the ranks at a club packed to the rafters with tough-as-teak professionals happy to pass on the wealth of their knowledge.

It is his work in the loose and marauding speed around the pitch that have helped Jubb make his name, however, and the Saracens Storm regular admits it is a feature of his game he is keen to hone as he looks to break into the England U20s starting XV.

“Having people like Steve Borthwick and Alistair Hargreaves at the club is really good, they are both big internationals and Steve is massive on the lineout, which is something I’d quite like to make a big plus point for me,” said Jubb, who has already appeared for Sarries in the LV= Cup.

“Also, some of the other senior guys at the club like Kelly Brown and John Smit may not play in my position but it’s good to have them around and be in the same environment as them.

“They lead you on the right direction and help you out, and we’re quite lucky we have that access to them.

“I don’t look at any one player in particular and say I want to be like them, I want to be my own man. I admire someone like Imanol Harinordoquy for his work at the lineout and his ball carrying skills, then there’s Courtney Lawes and Sam Whitelock.

“I’d like to say I was a mobile forward who gets round the park – I’m quite quick and agile, without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet.”

Jubb became hooked on rugby as a five-year-old after his father took him to a training session at Fullerians RFC in Watford.

A regular at centre or No.8 for Hitchin Boys School, he found his true calling at Oaklands College where he was picked out as a lock of rare merit – although he is still happy to turn out as a blindside flanker and get his hands on the ball when needed.

That desire to cut loose and get on the gallop earned him a hat-trick and the man-of-the-match award for Cambridge, where he was loan, in their National One victory over Stourbridge in April.

But for now, Jubb admits he is just focused on getting over a series of niggling injuries and getting his name on the team-sheet for next year’s Six Nations and Junior World Cup in France.

“I’ve played at six a couple of times this season, which is something I quite enjoy as I get to carry the ball a bit more,” said Jubb, who is doing a distance learning degree in sports science from Manchester University in his spare time.

“Over the next 12 months I’d like to play some games for the U20s and be a starter for the Six Nations squad and the Junior World Championships.

“That’s a big focus for us, as there’s a feeling we underperformed at the last World Cup with the players we had. It would be a shame to waste that talent, and it would be great to go to France and turn a few heads by winning.

“With Sarries I just want to carry on with the work we’re doing and eventually get more first-team experience but that’s more of an 18-month plan, as I need to put on some weight first but that’s easily done.

“It’s a great place and the opportunities they give us on and off the pitch mean I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

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