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Last season’s 1st XV Player of the Season is a firm favourite amongst his fellow playing squad, for many reasons, but mostly because of his selfless performances and huge amounts of energy that he contributes to the team each week. Hackers is another member of our young squad who has never experienced anything other than playing in the National Leagues with the 1st XV, after making his debut at home to Harrogate in the latter part of our first season at this level. Having duelled with both Ben James and Nathan Roy-Smith for the 7 shirt for a couple of seasons, Matt finally won the battle in the 2014/15 campaign and ended up playing in all bar two of the season’s fixtures. He had a standout season and but for injury has become an almost certain starter, with his consistently high defensive workload in combination with his work as a punchy ball carrier.
Though a first team squad without his name on it has become something of a shock these days, it was not always the case. Hackers size, or lack of it, was continually raised as a reason why he could not play at this level. But, as the true Luctonian that he is, he overcame his height deficit by doing the necessary gym work and fitness work to gain his place amongst a team containing several of his year group. Another home-grown talent Mat was a part of that terrific age group that has provided us with Louis Silver, Dan Smith, Jordan Street, Will Hodnett and Rob Crowley, to name but a few.
Away from rugby Mat works as a steel erector, when he can fit it in around his busy gym schedule! Never shy to lend a hand, he does his fair share of volunteering at the club, most recently dressing up as one of Santa’s little helpers for the Minis Christmas party. After a game, you will always know if the wee man has had a few too many as the usually mild mannered, polite individual has been known to start bouncing off the walls when under the influence. Another of our lads who is sure to be involved at this club for many years to come, we are lucky to have people like Hackers at Lucs, and grateful that he continues to bring down the twins.