- Jackson leads the way in RFU Championship try tally
- Exiles sit third in the table having suffered only one loss
Photo: RFU Archive
Ed Jackson may lead the way in the Championship try-scoring stakes, but that comes as surprising news to the London Welsh number eight.
Jackson, who joined Welsh from Doncaster Knights in the summer, took his tally for the season to five with two tries in the Exiles’ 34-23 win over Nottingham at Old Deer Park last Saturday.
He’d already marked his home debut with a brace against Plymouth Albion and another in the away defeat at Bedford Blues, but it’s a genuine shock for the number eight to learn that he’s the early pace-setter in the Championship try scoring table, one ahead of George Watkins (Bristol), Johannes ‘Handre’ Schmidt (Bedford), David Bradford (Doncaster) and Blair Cowan (Cornish Pirates).
“I don’t think I’ll be staying there for much longer if some of these wingers have anything to do with it,” said Jackson, who has already surpassed the three tries he scored for Doncaster in 24 Championship appearances last season.
Both of his tries against Nottingham came from scrums close to the oppositions’ tryline, with Jackson picking up from the base and powering over. His try against Bedford came in similar fashion and, as a consequence, he’s keen to share any plaudits going with his teammates, particularly his fellow forwards.
“You’ve got to give credit to the boys in front of me in the scrum who are giving a solid platform,” he continued.
“I’ve been lucky to get five. Tries don’t necessarily relate to how well an individual is playing, but how well the team is going.
“The fact that we can get ourselves in to positions to have attacking scrums five or ten metres out from the opposition’s line gives me a good opportunity, and that’s full credit to the boys for getting us there in the first place.
“I think we’ve been doing pretty well as a pack which has led to me getting over the whitewash. It could have been any of us, but luckily it was me. We’ve still got a lot to work on, but personally I’m happy with how the season has started.”
Jackson in possible face-off with step-brother
Welsh’s win over Nottingham was their third of the season and moved the Exiles up to third in the Championship table, while Esher’s defeat at Moseley was their fourth straight loss of the season and leaves them propping up the table. Jackson, though, knows all too well from Doncaster’s clashes with rivals Rotherham last season that form will count for nothing on Friday evening at Molesey Road.
“Esher are a good team; they’ve got their backs against the wall at the moment and that makes them very dangerous to us,” said Jackson.
“There’s always been a big rivalry between Doncaster and Rotherham and I bought into that when I moved up there, but for the lads who lived up there the football and rugby teams have always battled it out.”
Aside from hoping to add to his try scoring tally against Esher, Jackson has another reason to hope he makes Lyn Jones’ starting 15 for Friday night, as he could line up against his step-brother, scrum half Chris Cook, currently on loan at Esher from Bath.
A Four Nations winner with England U18s in 2006, Jackson came through the academy at Bath before signing a full-time contract at The Rec in 2007. He made his first team debut against Leicester Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup in October 2008 and went on to gain National League One experience with Newbury in 2009/10.