Luke Jacobson (image: All Blacks TV)
The All Blacks are already calling in the reinforcements before a game has been played at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Chiefs flanker Luke Jacobson has been ruled out of the tournament with concussion-related symptoms, meaning that Tasman’s Shannon Frizell now finds his way back into the squad.
Jacobson, who missed a hefty chunk of Super Rugby due to concussion, said the joint decision was made between himself and the All Blacks coaching, management and medical staff.
"A lot of the boys have had the same sort of problems earlier on in their careers so it's good to have a bit of a yarn with them to see what they did and how they got through it," Jacobson told All Blacks TV.
"They're at the end of their careers now and they've had great careers as well so that gives me a little bit of hope.”
However, Frizell’s call up has raised a few questions, given that it was presumed that Liam Squire would be the first cab off the rank if a replacement loose forward was named. Instead, it’s his Mako teammate Frizell who has got the nod, after starting the All Blacks’ test against South Africa earlier in the season.
Frizell has five caps to his name, but has struggled to really convince at test level.
The bigger issue, though, is that of the 22-year-old Jacobson’s future in the game.
"Probably better for me to give it a rest and get it right for the longevity of my career," he told All Blacks TV.
"Obviously, it's your head. You've only got one brain.”