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Irishman Oli Jager open to playing for either the All Blacks or Ireland

Oli Jager

Oli Jager is eager to play for the All Blacks while he continues his career in New Zealand but hasn’t ruled out returning to Ireland in the future.

Born in London to a Dutch father and an Irish mother, Jager spent much of his younger years in Kildare and went to school at Newbridge College and Blackrock College.

Jager travelled to New Zealand in 2013 and has remained there since, and signed his first contract for the Crusaders in 2017, for whom he still plays his rugby.

The 26-year-old was speaking to RTE’s Neil Treacy and expressed his desire to play international rugby, whether that’s for New Zealand or Ireland.

Oli Jager on his goal to play international rugby.

“That’s one of the coolest things someone can do. International rugby is the goal, it’s every rugby player’s goal,” Jager said.

“Being in New Zealand right now, New Zealand is the goal, All Blacks is the pinnacle, but who’s to say, maybe two or three years down the line maybe I’d like to go home and play for Ireland and maybe have a different goal.

“Rugby is an interesting game, you just never really know what’s around the corner. International rugby is the goal, whether that’s for New Zealand or Ireland, we’ll have to see whether or not I’m good enough.”

Super Rugby Pacific kicks off in less than a month.

Jager and the Crusaders kick off their Super Rugby Pacific season on February 19th, and the Irishman will be hoping that it could be a breakthrough year for him.

Michael Ala’alatoa primarily started at tighthead prop for the Crusaders last year, but having joined Leinster at the start of the current European season, there is an opening for Jager.

The 26-year-old mostly started on the bench behind Ala’alatoa in 2021, but he now looks set to assume the role of the Crusaders’ first-choice tighthead.

The Crusaders are the favourites to win this year’s Super Rugby tournament, and a starring role for the Christchurch-based side could see Jager earn a call-up to the All Blacks.

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