Some players are fortunate to play the British and Irish Lions once. Some play them over a test series, but for a limited group, others play them across a ‘rugby lifetime’. And for Cory Jane, his 12 year experience since 2005 has seen plenty of highs, along with the lows.
The former All Black, Cory Jane will play off the bench in the Hurricanes v Lions match on the Tuesday night. In being named, it is tribute to his staying power and fitness. The 34 year old still holds a place within the Wellington franchise, playing in the opening game of this 2017 Super Rugby season.
And with this second chance highlight looking probable, the senior player has evolved beyond being the happy-go-lucky ‘Jester’ to being now, a critical decision maker and mentor for younger ‘Canes players…..while always retaining that mischievous smile.
.@CoryJane1080 is in line for a 2nd game against the Lions, 12 years after his 1st!
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) June 25, 2017
Now, with his prior experience playing the Lions midweek will see Cory Jane passing on that knowledge to Chris Boyd and captain, Brad Shields.
Corey Jane: His 12 Year Experience
Back in 2005, the Upper Hutt winger was an aggressive, instinctively fast flyer, who had ‘street cred’. He was elusive, and brought a XV’s and sevens record that would develop from that point, when he was picked off the bench for the Wellington Lions challenge against the British and Irish Lions.
And while his ‘black and yellow’ team that day were defeated 23-6, that ever lasting memory is one more attribute that Jane can bring to Tuesday night. On that occasion, along with a young Ma’a Nonu who matched Brian O’Driscoll, Jane was coached by current Hurricanes assistant, John Plumtree.
So both coach and player will hold a unique place in NZ rugby history. They join the likes of Sir Colin Meads, Sir Brian Lochre and a limited few, who have faced two separate touring sides. And in that time Cory Jane has been a part of many highly successful teams.
Cory Jane, an example of Passion and Perseverance
For Jane, his brief time in the spotlight, gave him the taste of higher-level competition. He then enjoyed a successful term in the Sir Gordon Tietjens New Zealand Sevens team. An IRB World Sevens season and Commonwealth Games gold soon followed.
And his star was definitely on the rise. A stellar 2006 for Wellington benefited Jane with his first Hurricanes contract. The a utility back, he played 13 games at fullback and began to earn a name for himself. And when he debuted for the All Blacks in 2008, he was a sensation.
With a style that saw him buzzing around the field, his electricity was infectious. He would be tested under the high ball, but proved to be a ‘sure hand’ and scored many fantastic tries in black.
That included the pinnacle of rugby union – the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Making squad on his wide range of abilities, he then showed his qualities by out playing many international opponents. Jane had an outstanding tournament, capped by a Player of the Match performance against Australia in the semi-final.
53 All Black Caps – Jane is a Highly Respected Winger
While Jane was unable to secure a place in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, he is still a highly respected winger. Whether playing for the Hurricanes, or a brief escapade to the Toshiba Brave Lupus, he adds value. A threat from out wide, he also can enter the line and his strength means he can often create opportunities for others.
In the Tuesday night British and Irish Lions match, Cory Jane will surely bring that energy and offensive qualities; if called from the bench. He is always full of jokes and a great interviewee for the media, but once the whistle is blown, he turns on.
Match day captain Brad Shields told media “He’s always saying good things in among the team no matter what game it is.
“His experience is second to none.”
Corey Jane: 12-year experience invaluable for Hurricanes v Lions
And he will also inspire others. The Wellington side has been boosted with the inclusion of All Blacks wider training squad members released. Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape will join Julian Savea and Vaea Fifita in gaining that experience of playing the tourists.
Cory Jane will make his influence from the bench but fans can be prepared for him to make an impact.
Hurricanes v British & Irish Lions – Westpac Stadium, 7:35pm (NZT)
15. Jordie Barrett
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder
13. Vince Aso
12. Ngani Laumape
11. Julian Savea
10. Otere Black
9. Te Toirora-Tahuriorangi
1. Ben May
2. Ricky Riccitelli
3. Jeffrey To’omaga-Allen
4. Mark Abbott
5. Sam Lousi
6. Vaea Fifita
7. Callum Gibbins
8. Brad Shields (c)
Replacements: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, James Blackwell, Reed Prinsep, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Wes Goosen and Cory Jane.
“Main photo credit”