Will Tucker dismissed St. Bede’s 2014 First XV season as “horrific".
For the first time since 2006 the school missed the semi-finals of the UC Championship and Tucker concedes things didn’t “click” and he still has no idea why.
This year was vastly different. St Bede’s won the UC Championship for the fifth time and for the first time since 2011.
At the beginning of the season every player had to address the team and identify something important to them. Tucker explains what he considers important.
“I talked about hard work and self-discipline. People say they work hard and are disciplined all the time when they aren’t. I challenged the team and myself to be more disciplined and to work harder,” he says.
Those sentiments paid off in a big way for Tucker. He earned selection for the Crusaders Knights and New Zealand Schools’ teams.
The New Zealand Schools’ toured Australia and won all three games. Tucker started the test match which New Zealand won 32-8 – their biggest win in the annual fixture since 1995 and their third in a row.
It was undoubtedly the highlight of the tour.
“We really clicked in that game. To have everything we worked towards come off was special,” Tucker says.
William is the younger brother of James Tucker who won the Bronze Boot award as New Zealand Schools’ best player in the 2012 test against Australia. James has kicked onto represent the New Zealand Under-20′s and has been a standout for Waikato in this season’s ITM Cup.
James is also a lock. In the ITM Cup he has made 41 lineout catches which is the third most in the competition. The willing and aggressive forward has also made 91 tackles and carried 67 times for a gain of 250 meters which ranks him in the top twenty of those categories.
On Friday Waikato won the Ranfurly Shield and accept for a short conversation on Saturday James hasn’t been seen since.
“It’s pretty inspiring to see James doing well. It drives me to try and do better than him. We have a pretty intense rivalry,” Will laughs.
Interestingly James who has struggled with injures hasn’t suffered any setbacks since growing a large beard. Is growing a beard and joining James in Hamilton a possibility in 2016?
“I am not sure. I am still figuring out what I will be doing next year. I want to do a trade and play rugby. I am not sure where that will be yet,” Will says.
In the immediate future he is focussed on cricket. He has been a member of the St. Bede’s First XI for four years.
A medium pace blower who confesses his batting is “modest”, Tucker has seen St. Bede’s improve markedly.
Earlier this year they beat Christchurch Boys’ High School for the first time in 17 years. Christchurch have won the last three national titles. Will discusses one of his finest hours at St. Bede’s.
“We won the toss and batted. We collapsed early which is typical in matches against Christchurch. Our keeper managed to get a few by batting fearlessly and that gave the remainder of the order confidence. We scrambled to about 200. We had them under the pump early and they never recovered. We bowled them out for 130-odd and won the game which was huge.”
Tucker claimed two wickets and hopes to snaffle a few more when St. Bede’s play Christ’s College in the Christchurch Gillette Cup semi-finals this Saturday. On the other side of the draw Christchurch plays St. Andrew’s College.
“It would be nice to get to the Gillette Cup, but it will be tough,” Will says.
The Tucker’s parents Brett and Juliet own a water bottling company. Several unions appear keen to bottle up another Tucker in 2016.
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