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Jackson ready for the next challenge

New London Wasps signing Ed Jackson had a rather different off-season than his teammates.

The back row player, who joined recently from London Welsh, spent the early part of his summer preparing for and then trekking the jungles of Borneo.

The trek was to raise money for the Tom Maynard Trust, which was set up to help young disadvantaged sportspeople, in memory of Maynard, the Surrey cricketer and close friend of Jackson’s, who died last year.

“We really wanted to do something to raise money for the Trust,” he explains.

“We found out about the trek and saw that it was incredibly difficult so we went for it. We ended up raising £10,000 and it was just as tough as we thought it would be. I ended the season at 120 kilos and I lost 10 kilos in ten days on the trek. It was the hardest thing I have ever done though this pre-season comes pretty close!”

Jackson, 24, has returned to training in recent weeks, admitting gaining the 10 kilos he lost has been far more enjoyable than losing it, and he’s thrown himself into life at Wasps.

“This pre-season training has been very intense. Everything is very professional and calculated which is great but it does mean there is nowhere to hide with our GPS and heart rate monitors! I am enjoying it though. I recently moved to Oxford, where I have a house so I like to get down to the training ground early, get some breakfast in and avoid the traffic.”

Jackson joins Wasps alongside a number of other new back row players including recent arrivals Nathan Hughes and Rory Pitman, and he is well aware of the competition ahead.

“There is a lot of strength in this back row here at Wasps. We are all going to be pushing each other. There are a few new boys in there too and for now it’s friendly competition and everyone’s mixing in well. I’ve played eight a lot over the past season or so but I am happy to play anywhere there. My aim is to play as much rugby as possible this season.”

Jackson also expresses sadness at seeing his former club London Welsh relegated at the end of the season.

“It is a real shame what happened after we worked so hard to get up and stay up but I still have a lot of mates there and living in Oxford hopefully I will get along to some of the games. When we got relegated there were a few Clubs talking to players. With some of them maybe it felt like they were simply looking to bulk their squad up but it didn’t feel like that here. I had always heard good things about Wasps. I know a lot of players in other Clubs so you get the inside scoop easily and nobody has had a bad word to say about what it’s like to work here. I know Dai (Young) well enough and I knew he was serious about me which gave me a lot of confidence to come here."

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