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New England Free Jacks

New England Free Jacks
Founded2018
LocationQuincy, Massachusetts
Ground(s)Veterans Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 5,000)
CEOAlex Magleby
Coach(es)Scott Mathie
Captain(s)Josh Larsen
League(s)Major League Rugby
2023Champions
1st (Eastern Conference)
Team kit
Official website
www.freejacks.com

The New England Free Jacks are a professional rugby union team in Major League Rugby (MLR) based in the Greater Boston area. They were announced in September 2018 and began to compete professionally in October 2018.[1] They competed in their first season in MLR in the 2020 season. On July 8, 2023, they became the MLR Champions for the 2023 season, after defeating San Diego Legion in a closely fought match.

History

On September 21, 2018, Major League Rugby announced that Boston would be one of the expansion teams joining the league for the 2020 season.[2] That same day, the Boston club was announced as the New England Free Jacks through social media. Their first match was on October 20, 2018, against the Ontario Arrows at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Early rosters from these matches included a mixture of veteran professional players from the disbanded PRO Rugby competition and top local talent from clubs such as the Boston Irish Wolfhounds and Mystic River.

NFL players Nate Ebner and Patrick Chung are minority owners of the Free Jacks.[3][4]

Sponsorship

Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor Other Shirt sponsor(s)
2018 Canterbury None None
2018–2019 Boathouse
2020–2021 Paladin Sports
2022 Alloy Therapeutics
2023 Tufts Medical Center, Dude Wipes
2024–present Kappa

Roster

The New England Free Jacks squad for the 2024 Major League Rugby season is:[5]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Mason Koch Hooker United States United States
Andrew Quattrin Hooker Canada Canada
Sean Ralph Hooker South Africa South Africa
Kyle Ciquera Prop United States United States
Foster DeWitt Prop Canada Canada
Kaleb Geiger Prop United States United States
Malakai Hala-Ngatai Prop New Zealand New Zealand
John-Roy Jenkinson Prop South Africa South Africa
Cole Keith Prop Canada Canada
Kyle Baillie Lock Canada Canada
Conor Keys Lock Canada Canada
Josh Larsen (c) Lock Canada Canada
Jackson Thiebes Lock United States United States
Piers von Dadelszen Lock Canada Canada
Seta Baker Back row New Zealand New Zealand
Jaco Bezuidenhout Back row South Africa South Africa
Wian Conradie Back row Namibia Namibia
Cam Davidowicz Back row United States United States
Ethan Fryer Back row Canada Canada
Mitch Jacobson Back row New Zealand New Zealand
Jed Melvin Back row New Zealand New Zealand
Martín Sigren Back row Chile Chile
Player Position Union
Will Chevalier Scrum-half United States United States
Oscar Lennon* Scrum-half Wales Wales
Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti* Scrum-half Fiji Fiji
John Poland Scrum-half Ireland Ireland
Holden Yungert Scrum-half United States United States
Danyon Morgan-Puterangi Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Jayson Potroz Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Gabe Casey Centre Canada Canada
Ben LeSage Centre Canada Canada
Le Roux Malan Centre Namibia Namibia
Wayne van der Bank Centre South Africa South Africa
Paula Balekana Wing Fiji Fiji
Zach Bastres Wing United States United States
Toby Fricker* Wing Wales Wales
Isaac Olson Wing Canada Canada
Mitch Wilson Wing United States United States
Killan Coghlan Fullback United States United States
Reece MacDonald Fullback New Zealand New Zealand
  • Senior 15s and senior 7s internationally capped players are listed in bold.
  • * denotes players qualified to play for the United States on dual nationality or residency grounds.
  • MLR teams are allowed to field up to ten overseas players per match.

Head coaches

  • United States Josh Smith (2018–2020)
  • New Zealand Ryan Martin (2020–2021)
  • South Africa Scott Mathie (2021-present)[6]

Captains

Leadership

Staff for 2022 Major League Rugby Season:[7]

Staff Position Name
Head Coach Scott Mathie
Assistant Coach Mike Rogers
Performance Director Tom Kindley

Owners[8]

Position Name
Co-Founder, Owner and CEO Alex Magleby
Co-Founder, Owner and Chairman Errik Anderson
Owner and Board Member David Barry
Owner and Board Member Jonathan Bobbett
Owner Patrick Chung
Owner Nate Ebner

Records

Season standings

Season Conference Regular season Postseason
Pos Pld W D L F A +/− BP Pts Pld W L F A +/− Result
2020[a] Eastern 9th 5 1 0 4 139 158 -19 5 9 - - - - - - Cancelled
2021 Eastern 6th 16 10 0 6 360 332 +28 8 48 - - - - - - Did not qualify
2022 Eastern 1st 16 13 0 3 454 328 +126 8 62 1 0 1 16 24 -8 Lost Conference Final (Rugby New York) 16–24
2023 Eastern 1st 16 14 0 2 556 273 +283 12 68 2 2 0 50 31 +19 Won Conference Final (Old Glory DC) 25-7
Won Major League Rugby final San Diego Legion 25-24
Totals 53 38 0 15 1509 1091 +418 33 187 3 2 1 66 55 +11 2 postseason appearances

Notes

  1. ^ 2020 regular season shortened and playoffs cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head coaches

Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Josh Smith United States United States October 19, 2018 July 28, 2020 5 1 4 0 20.0
Ryan Martin New Zealand New Zealand July 28, 2020 July 18, 2021 16 10 6 0 62.5
Scott Mathie South Africa South Africa September 9, 2021 present 16 13 3 0 81.2

2019 season

All games in the 2019 season were exhibition games and did not count in the league standings; the team played to a record of 1–7, losing their first seven games and winning their final match of the season.

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
October 20, 2018 Ontario Arrows Away Wanderers Grounds Lost, 14–40
December 1, 2018 Rugby United New York Home Union Point Sports Complex Lost, 35–38
February 9, 2019 Utah Warriors Away Zions Bank Training Center Lost, 15–70
March 16, 2019 Connacht A[9] Home Union Point Sports Complex Lost, 7–38
March 24, 2019 Ulster A[9] Home Union Point Sports Complex Lost, 15–43
April 6, 2019 Munster A[9] Home Irish Cultural Centre GAA Field Lost, 19–38
April 14, 2019 Leinster A[9] Home Harvard Mignone Field Lost, 12–55
May 18, 2019 Toronto Arrows Home Brophy Field at Dartmouth's
Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse
Postponed
June 1, 2019 Lansdowne F.C. Home Irish Cultural Centre GAA Field Won, 46–29

2020 season

On March 12, 2020, MLR announced the season would go on hiatus immediately for 30 days due to fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.[10] Seven days later, MLR announced that the season was officially cancelled.[11] The Free Jacks finished the short season 9th in the MLR, 6th in the Eastern Conference.[12]

Exhibition

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
January 18 New England Independents Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 39–7
January 18 New England Independents Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 84–21

Regular season

The team accrued a 1–4 record before the season was halted.

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
February 8 Rugby United New York Home Sam Boyd Stadium Won, 34–14
February 15 Utah Warriors Away Sam Boyd Stadium Lost, 33–39
February 23 San Diego Legion Away Torero Stadium Lost, 21–30
February 29 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Sports Lost, 29–44
March 7 NOLA Gold Away The Gold Mine Lost, 22–31
March 14 Houston SaberCats Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
March 22 Rugby ATL Away Life University Running Eagles Stadium Cancelled
April 5 Colorado Raptors Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
April 10 Toronto Arrows Away TBD Cancelled
April 18 Old Glory DC Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
April 25 NOLA Gold Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
May 1 Rugby United New York Away MCU Park Cancelled
May 9 Austin Gilgronis Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
May 16 Toronto Arrows Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled
May 24 Old Glory DC Away Cardinal Stadium Cancelled
May 30 Rugby ATL Home Union Point Sports Complex Cancelled

2021 season

The Free Jacks' first game of the 2021 season was played on March 20, facing LA Giltinis in Los Angeles.[13]

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
March 20 LA Giltinis Away Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Lost, 27–42
March 27 Houston SaberCats Away Aveva Stadium Won, 32-0
April 3 Utah Warriors Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 22-21
April 17 NOLA Gold Away Shrine on Airline Lost, 30-29
April 25 Old Glory DC Away Segra Field Lost, 29-35
May 1 San Diego Legion Away Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Won, 33-17
May 8 Austin Gilgronis Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 22-18
May 15 Rugby ATL Away Life University Lost, 18-33
May 23 Rugby United New York Away Cochrane Stadium Lost, 19-29
May 29 Toronto Arrows Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 14-12
June 6 Old Glory DC Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 38-34
June 13 Seattle Seawolves Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 25-21
June 27 NOLA Gold Home Union Point Sports Complex Lost, 9-17
July 3 Rugby United New York Home Union Point Sports Complex Won, 22-6
July 11 Toronto Arrows Away Life University Won, 28-17
July 18 Rugby ATL Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 22-19

Source:[14]

2022 season

Regular season

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
February 5 New Orleans Gold Away Gold Mine on Airline Won, 24-13
February 18 Old Glory DC Away Segra Field Won, 41-25
February 27 LA Giltinis Away Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Lost, 15-19
March 6 Rugby New York Away John F. Kennedy Stadium Won, 38-29
March 12 Toronto Arrows Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 21-15
March 19 Austin Gilgronis Away Bold Stadium Won, 25-17
March 26 Rugby ATL Away Silverbacks Park Won, 41-27
April 2 New Orleans Gold Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 33-29
April 9 Seattle Seawolves Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 24-22
April 24 Rugby New York Away John F. Kennedy Stadium Won, 29-26
April 30 Utah Warriors Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 33-17
May 7 Old Glory DC Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 26-20
May 13 Rugby ATL Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 15-10
May 19 Toronto Arrows Away York Lions Stadium Lost, 18-33
May 29 New Orleans Gold Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Won, 57-5
June 3 Rugby New York Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Lost, 14-21

Source:[15]

Post season

Round Date Opponent Home/Away Venue Result
East Conference Finals June 19 Rugby New York Home Veterans Memorial Stadium Lost, 16–24

2023 season

Preseason

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
February 8 Houston SaberCats Away SaberCats Stadium L, 21-34

Regular season

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
February 17 New Orleans Gold Away The Gold Mine W, 36-12
February 26 San Diego Legion Away Snapdragon Stadium L, 12-29
March 11 Old Glory DC Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 34-31
March 19 Rugby New York Away Mount Vernon Memorial Stadium W, 33-18
March 25 Dallas Jackals Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 10-9
March 31 Utah Warriors Away Zions Bank Stadium L, 24-26
April 8 Chicago Hounds Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 31-19
April 15 Toronto Arrows Away York Lions Stadium W, 80-5
April 22 Rugby ATL Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 23-13
April 30 Rugby New York Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 8-0
May 14 Old Glory DC Away Segra Field W, 42-12
May 21 New Orleans Gold Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 50-3
May 27 Toronto Arrows Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 57-20
June 2 Rugby ATL Away Silverbacks Park W, 35-14
June 11 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Stadium W, 34-26
June 18 Houston SaberCats Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 47-24

Post Season

Round Date Opponent Location Result
East Conference Finals July 1, 2023 Old Glory DC Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 25-7
MLR Grand Final July 8, 2023 San Diego Legion SeatGeek Stadium W, 25-24

2024 season

Preseason

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
January 22 Dallas Jackals Neutral SaberCats Stadium L, 22-24

Regular season

Date Opponent Home/Away Location Result
March 3 Anthem RC Away American Legion Memorial Stadium W, 46-13
March 9 Old Glory DC Home Veterans Memorial Stadium L, 34-35
March 16 New Orleans Gold Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 27-21
March 24 Chicago Hounds Away SeatGeek Stadium W, 22-17
April 6 Miami Sharks Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 25-3
April 13 Houston SaberCats Away SaberCats Stadium W, 47-35
April 20 Seattle Seawolves Home Veterans Memorial Stadium L, 21-29
April 28 RFC Los Angeles Away Dignity Health Sports Park W, 34-12
May 5 Chicago Hounds Home Veterans Memorial Stadium L, 20-26
May 19 San Diego Legion Away Snapdragon Stadium W, 24-23
May 25 Miami Sharks Away Chase Stadium L, 15-13
June 2 Dallas Jackals Home Veterans Memorial Stadium W, 26-24
June 8 Old Glory DC Away Maryland SoccerPlex
June 16 Utah Warriors Home Veterans Memorial Stadium
June 22 New Orleans Gold Away Gold Mine on Airline
June 29 Anthem RC Home Veterans Memorial Stadium

Entertainment

Mascot

On May 7, 2021, the Free Jacks announced a mascot, Woodgy, a furry blue creature with rugby headband tape who wears Free Jacks rugby kit.[16]

Academy

New England Independents

On January 8, 2020, the Free Jacks announced that they would compete in two preseason matches against the New England Independents, a brand new select team of local All-Star talent representing eight clubs throughout New England.[17] Adam Zilcoski, of the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, was selected as the head coach.

Roster

Squad for 2020 Major League Rugby Preseason:[18][19]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Blades Shields Hooker United States United States
David McKenna Prop United States United States
Kyle Ciquera Prop United States United States
Sean Moran Prop United States United States
Timmy O’Connor Lock United States United States
Cody Davidowicz Lock United States United States
Ryan Hargraves Flanker United States United States
Paul Taylor Flanker United States United States
Cam Davidowicz Number 8 United States United States
Player Position Union
Ian Luciano Scrum-half Australia Australia
Andrew Menton Fly-half United States United States
Adnan Kawuma Centre United States United States
Jared Collinson Centre United States United States
Brad Patterson Wing United States United States
Andrew Marshall Wing United States United States
David Buchanan Fullback United States United States

Regional academies

Club Region
the Alarm Boston
Champs Champlain
Cobblers North Shore
Granite Hammers Southern New Hampshire
Lightfoots Western MA
Mutineers Rhode Island
Night Watch Upper CT
Pathfinders Central MA
Pine Rioters Southern Vermont & New Hampshire
River Rangers Upper Valley
the Sea Serpents Maine Seacoast
Silver Sharks South Shore
Whistle Punks New England North

[20]

Junior Jacks

The Junior Jacks are the youth academy level for the Free Jacks.

References

  1. ^ "New England Free Jacks Roster Announced". The Runner Sports. 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  2. ^ "Major League Rugby confirms Boston and Atlanta for 2020 - Americas Rugby News". Americasrugbynews.com. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Patriots Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner embracing roles as Major League Rugby minority owners".
  4. ^ "New England Free Jacks Expand Ownership, Introduce Nate Ebner & Patrick Chung - The Runner Sports".
  5. ^ "New England Free Jacks". Americas Rugby News. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Free Jacks Appoint Scott Mathie Head Coach and Mike Rogers Senior Assistant". Major League Rugby. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  7. ^ "Staff". New England Free Jacks. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Leadership". New England Free Jacks. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d "Free Jacks To Host Irish Provincial 'A' Sides". Thisisamericanrugby.com. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  10. ^ Anonymous, "MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY SUSPENDS 2020 SEASON FOR 30 DAYS," www.majorleague.rugby, March 12, 2020 Retrieved March 14, 2020
  11. ^ "Major League Rugby cancels remainder of 2020 campaign". Yahoo! Sports. AFP. March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  12. ^ "Standings". Major League Rugby. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  13. ^ Banks, Doug (March 20, 2021). "Professional rugby team New England Free Jacks to debut in Massachusetts". masslive.com. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  14. ^ "2021 Scheduled". freejacks.com. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "2022 Scheduled". freejacks.com. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  16. ^ "𝙒𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙜𝙮 – 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚍 𝚠𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚕𝚎𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚍 | New England Free Jacks". Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  17. ^ "The New England Free Jacks, Boston's First Professional Rugby Team, Announce Two Free Preseason Matches In The Month Of January At Union Point Sports Complex | New England Free Jacks". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  18. ^ [1] “1-18-2020 New England Independents Squad”
  19. ^ [2]"1-24-2020 New England Independents Squad”
  20. ^ "FREE JACKS LAUNCH NEW ENGLAND-WIDE ACADEMY". freejacks.com. 2020-09-24. Retrieved 2020-09-24.

External links

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