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Second most capped Black Fern to bring up Auckland milestone

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aucklandrugby.co.nz and James Mortimer     20 Sep 2013     Getty Images

A stalwart of the game, Jensen only moved to Auckland for work 10 years ago having previously played for the Hawke’s Bay and Waikato women’s teams.

Born and bred in the Hawke’s Bay Jensen was a late comer to the game, spending her youth on the hockey turf instead.

“Hockey was my sport growing up, I only started rugby when I was about 15,” said Jensen.

The rugby didn’t last long though as Jensen focussed on hockey, making a number of provincial and national representative teams.

“I was giving hockey a good crack but I just missed my rugby and that became my focus from about the age of 22.”

And thank goodness for that, a quick look at records show that Jensen is the second most capped Black Fern, the most capped provincial player and in the opening game of 2013 became the highest point scorer in the history of women’s provincial rugby, (not that Jensen was aware of any of the above list).

Her first call up to the Black Ferns came a year before moving to the Storm, to be a part of the World Cup squad.

“I had hoped for the call up because heading to a World Cup is a massive opportunity, so when it came, it was a real honour; I’ve been privileged to be in the team ever since.”

That’s right, another record, Jensen has played 35 consecutive Test matches.

As far as the Storm goes, Jensen has taken the captaincy on board this season and is embracing the added responsibility.

“I love it. It’s something I always say to the girls, if you don’t enjoy it, don’t play. You’ve got to love what you’re doing.”

Having won eight provincial championship titles with the Storm, Jensen said it is hard to pin point specific highlights.

“Meeting and playing alongside the girls has to be the highlight.

“Everyone loves to beat Auckland but we just have such an awesome bunch and there is always youngsters coming through that are so talented.”

Jensen the expanded competition in 2013 to eight teams is great for the women’s game.

“The skill level is increasing, the fitness level is increasing. We have to play every game like it’s a final – if you get complacent; you’ll get beaten.”

The goal is obviously to win a sixth-consecutive national title.

“The whole team real believes in defending this legacy we’ve created.”

There is also an eye towards 2014 and the Women’s World Cup in France, if selected it will be Jensen’s fourth World Cup – having been to, and won the previous three.

But for now Jensen is looking to Saturday, her 50th Storm match against the currently top of the table Manawatu.

“They are definitely in form – it will be a good challenge.”