Born: 29 October, 1983 – Melbourne
Test record: 8 Tests (2005-07) – 5 tries (20 points)
Tours: 2005 Tri Nations
Powerful three-quarter Jake Webster starred in New Zealand’s watershed Tri Nations success at the end of a breakout 2005 season with Melbourne Storm.
Born in Melbourne, Webster moved to Brisbane and came through the ranks at Brisbane club Valleys. He was snapped up by Storm feeder club Norths Devils and represented Queensland Under-19s in 2002, before being blooded in the NRL with six appearances in 2003-04.
Webster became a permanent fixture on the wing for Melbourne in 2005, crossing for 10 tries in 24 matches and earning a Kiwis call-up – qualifying via his New Zealand Māori father.
The 22-year-old played on the wing in all five matches of New Zealand’s Tri Nations campaign, as well as the non-tournament Test against France. Webster scored two tries in the 28-26 loss to Australia in Sydney, dotted down in the 42-26 win over Great Britain in London and notched another double in the 38-12 defeat to Great Britain in Huddersfield, then featured in the euphoric 24-0 triumph over the Kangaroos in the Leeds-hosted final.
Webster crossed for 15 tries in his first 15 matches for the Storm in 2006 – including a hat-trick against Parramatta, an unforgettable buzzer-beating match-winner against the Bulldogs and a club-record-equalling four-try haul against Wests Tigers – but missed the club’s run to the grand final due to the embarrassment of backline riches at Craig Bellamy’s disposal. He retained his wing spot for the 2006 Anzac Test but was unavailable for the Tri Nations due to off-season surgery ahead of a move to NRL newcomers Gold Coast Titans.
After making his last appearance for the Kiwis in the 2007 Anzac Test loss in Brisbane, Webster began an 11-season Super League tenure in 2008 that encompassed more than 200 games for Hull KR and Castleford Tigers, playing in a Challenge Cup final (2014) and Super League grand final (2017) with the latter.
Webster subsequently turned out for English lower-tier outfits Bradford Bulls and Keighley Cougars.