Jackson Hemopo, debuted for the Highlanders in 2015 against the Blues at Eden Park during their championship winning season after coming into the squad as injury cover. A former Palmerston North Boys High School student, Hemopo played for the Otago ITM Cup team from 2013-2015 but returned to Manawatu in 2016.
A member of the 2013 New Zealand U20s team, Hemopo earnt regular game time in 2017 during the later stages of the Super Rugby competition in 2017 and stepped up even further in 2018 where he played a part in 16 out of 17 games played by the team. Rewarded for his outstanding performances in Super Rugby with inclusion in the mid-year All Blacks Test Match squad he debuted in the black jersey in June against France.
To round out a successful season he was also voted by the other Highlander's players to receive the Speight's Players' Player of the year award at the annual awards evening.