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Rampage: Jake McEwan hits it up for Central in its Topp Cup match against Southern recently. PICTURE: K MAXWELL

By PHILIP CHANDLER

A JETBOAT driver’s making asplash with the Wakatipu Premiers rugby team this season.

Rangy hooker Jake McEwan, who impressed for Central in last Saturday’s Topp Cup game
against Southern, is standing out with his electrifying runs.

He originally represented the Prems in 2014 and ’15 before joining his then-captain Henry
Youngman in playing for Frankfurt’s 1880 club in the top German league.

With his mum dying, he cut his contract short and returned to his hometown, Dunedin.

He then played for Dunedin’s championship-winning Southern team, captained by All
Black Josh Ioane, in 2017.

‘‘After that, my old man told me, ‘get out of Dunedin, go back to Queenstown, that’s
[where] you studied’.’’

Since gaining an adventure tourism diploma with Queens town Resort College, he’s
driven for jetboat company KJet, saying he’s fortunate he kept his job through Covid.

Now 25, he didn’t play in 2019 due to an ACL knee injury, and also took last year off ‘‘as my knee still wasn’t right, and it was a short season’’.

Standing out: Wakatipu Prems hooker Jake McEwan

McEwan says he particularly enjoyed last month’s win over Arrowtown — scoring the winning try three minutes from the end — ‘‘because when I used to play for Waka we never beat Arrowtown’’.

Wakatipu’s scrum has improved a lot, he observes, and he was delighted with their home win over Upper Clutha two weeks ago.

‘‘We came out there and pretty much said, ‘make them never want to come back to our
home field’.’’

While he’d love to play for Otago one day, his immediate aim’s to make the Otago Country side — his prior rep honours were with the under-20 Central Otago Sassenachs.

Though tallish for a hooker, it means he can also play no.6, as he did recently for Central Lakes.

On Wakatipu’s finals pro spects, McEwan admits undefeated Cromwell’s ‘‘the mile stone’’, but he says his team was still gelling when beaten by them early in the comp.

‘‘Now we sort of know what they’re made of.’’

scoop@scene.co.nz