By Ali Stokes
After making big impressions during a stellar Junior World Cup campaign over the summer, in which he played at both outside centre and wing, Leicester Tigers’ promising young talent Jordan Olowofela is relishing his time working under Premiership star Telusa Veianu, in the hope of becoming Leicester’s first-choice fullback in the years to come.
Olowofela ended the 2017/18 season as a relative unknown, overshadowed by fellow u20 stars Gabriel Ibitoye, Marcus Smith and team captain Ben Curry.
However, by the end of England’s JWC campaign, Jordan, twin brother of England Sevens protégé Ryan Olowofela, became an established name within Premiership circles.
Gifted with a proclivity for piercing line breaks and dancing feet, the 20-year-old earned a call-up to England’s senior squad under the watchful eye of national Head Coach Eddie Jones, joining the senior side during their Teddington-based training camp last month alongside u20 teammates Ibitoye and Joel Kpoku.
Back on club duty after a memorable summer, Olowofela is fixed on becoming Leicester’s first-choice fullback, diligently learning under the mentorship of Veianu and Head Coach Geordan Murphy.
"There's a lot more learning to do at fullback with the pendulum system,” Olowofela said. “You have to talk to your wingers a lot more. Hopefully move to fullback, but maybe start as a winger.
"I'm doing a lot of work, positional wise, with Geordan Murphy, and just talking to the wingers.”
Olowofela enjoyed a run out in the final seven minutes of Leicester’s shock 49-33 victory over Newcastle Falcons last weekend, replacing Veianu from the bench after the Tigers’ fullback was handed a yellow card by referee Matthew Carley for an offside infringement on Leicester's try line.
Murphy admitted that had Tigers not gone down to 14 men following Veianu’s card, Olowofela would have enjoyed a lengthier appearance at Welford Road, with an improved opportunity to impress in his season’s first appearance.
Despite Veianu’s indiscretion denying him precious minutes, Olowofela was full of praise for the Tongan international's guidance. "Telusa's world class. It's great having him shadow you.
“He's had a few injuries so he's been teaching me all these techniques. Like who to look at, body language of other players to see where the ball is going, and things like that.”
Olowofela will enjoy improved game time this season, with Murphy describing himself as “not ageist” and decided on handing the most promising players game time, regardless of age.
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