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Svendsen's journey to 150 games is still in the making

Jack Svendsen’s name might sound like a backpacker from a Nordic country but in reality, he is as North Queensland as they come.

But he does love packing up and moving for adventure and opportunity.

The Cairns Southern Suburbs junior will play his 150th Hostplus Cup game this week when the Brisbane Tigers and Ipswich Jets clash in Ipswich.

He will be the 73rd player to play 150 Cup games.

Svendsen played 49 games for the North Queensland Cowboys in the Toyota Cup, but then it was time to play for his local North Queensland side Northern Pride.

“Jason Demetriou rang me and said they had a spot at the Pride for me,” Svendsen said.

“I was finished at the Cowboys and playing for my local side in Cup appealed to me.”

This North Queenslander didn’t have to go too far for his first game in 2014 for the Pride at Barlow Park against the Redcliffe Dolphins.

On debut Svendsen scored a try and Pride got a 20-12 win.

“I was 18th man the first few weeks and then Round 3 made my debut against Redcliffe,” Svendsen said.

“David Hala ran straight over my first tackle in Cup.”

The Northern Pride celebrate after winning the 2014 NRL State Championship title. Photo: NRL Images
The Northern Pride celebrate after winning the 2014 NRL State Championship title. Photo: NRL Images

The highlight came at the end of 2014 when Svendsen played in the first State Championship against Penrith.

The Pride beat the Panthers 32-28 and Svendsen made a great contribution with 103 metres and 12 tackles, overcoming the disappointment of missing out the week before.

“I missed the grand final, JD went with Kyle Feldt and so I was 18th man,” Svendsen said.

“I got over that pretty quickly; I played 18 games that year, but it was what’s best for the team and we got the result.

“I played the next week at Stadium Australia in front of 80,000 and won the first NRL State Championship title.”

Demetriou, the current coach of the South Sydney, led the Pride for 19 of the 56 games that Svendsen played at the Pride.

“Jack was born and bred in Cairns,” Demetriou said.

“He came from the Cowboys 20s and brought some physicality to our team.

“He contributed significantly to our success in 2014; a hard work edge or middle who never let his mates down.”


2014 Intrust Super Championship: Northern Pride overcame a Penrith Panthers side boasting 614 NRL Games worth of experience to claim the inaugral National Championship 🏆 #Intrustsupercup

Posted by Hostplus Cup on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

While North Queensland through-and-through, the time came to pack that bag again and Svendsen headed off to Brisbane to find a home at the Tigers.

“Brian Torpy is from Cairns, so he had a word to me and sold the Tigers to me,” Svendsen said.

“I was a bit nervous, the Pride and Tigers had been involved in a bit of a rivalry, but Tigers has been great for me.

“When I got here, they had that core of older blokes like (Tom) Butterfield and (Jarrod) McInally who were great for me, then they finished, and I am that older player now.

“I can’t imagine playing anywhere else now, I am a Tiger and love it here, this is home.”

A Queensland jumper for Residents wasn’t too far away and in 2016, Svendsen was picked to represent his state.

“That was a goal I had to get picked for Queensland I got to do it twice, the second time in 2017, I broke my jaw that afternoon against the Capras and then couldn’t play,” Svendsen said.

Svendsen has played 93 games for the Tigers and McInally was happy for his mate and knew what he brought to the Tigers Den.

McInally played 85 games for the Tigers and 20 with Svendsen in 2017.

“Jack is one of those guys that comes to a club and improves it straight away,” McInally said.

“He may just be working on his arms and abs in the gym, but he does all the hard work and wins you over straight away.

“He may have broken our Tiger hearts in 2014, but we got on straight away at the Tigers.

“150 games are a huge achievement.”

Tigers Jack Miers and Jack Svendsen. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL
Tigers Jack Miers and Jack Svendsen. Photo: Vanessa Hafner / QRL

Lachlan Lansky is a newer Tiger and has played with Svendsen in 2022.

“It’s a massive milestone getting to 150 Cup games,” Lansky said.

“Especially for a bloke that complains as much as Sven.

“He has been a massive part of the what the Tigers are doing and the boys will be keen to get him a win on Sunday.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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