The New England Free Jacks of Major League Rugby are excited to partner with the Irish Cultural Centre of New England (ICC) to host the A-side of traditional provincial power Munster on April 6th and the All Ireland league club champions Lansdowne FC on June 1st. The matches will be played on the Gaelic Athletic Association Field in Canton, MA, as part of the transatlantic series “The Cara Cup” between top Irish provincial sides and the New England Free Jacks.
New England Shines Bright in Close Match With RUNY
Free Jacks defeated 35-38
First match sets up future rivalry with New York
New England gets its first taste of professional rugby before an action-packed spring schedule
South Weymouth, MA – History was made this weekend when the New England Free Jacks took on Rugby United New York in their first ever home event at Union Point Sports Complex. The preseason scrimmage was a tune-up for both sides with differing timelines, as New York will enter Major League Rugby this coming January with the Free Jacks formally joining the following year. The game featured a modified format for development, with four quarters of 20 minutes and 25+ players a side.
The match kicked off with New England threatening in New York’s half. However, a quick turn of events saw Rugby United gain possession and cross the pitch and score the first try of the day. The score would remain 7-0 for the remainder of the first quarter as both sides battled back and forth. Early in the second quarter, the Free Jacks powered down the field thanks to a 20-meter maul to position themselves in a threatening spot. Eventually, inside center Peter Lupton stiff-armed a player and dragged two more into the try zone to score the first points of the day for New England. Captain Tadhg Leader hit the conversion to tie the match up. New York would eventually respond by pounding it in with their forwards. At the end of the half, with RUNY down a player due to a yellow card, Lupton found himself with the ball again near the try zone. A hard dummy fake opened up a line in the defense, and he dove through to score his second try of the day. Leader tied up the match at 14 as both sides regrouped for halftime.
Coming out in the third quarter, RUNY quickly scored two tries to jump out to a margin of 14-28. The Free Jacks showed their grit and responded to the sudden deficit. Off of a scrum, Leader swung it out wide to former AIC player Christian Adams who fended off a player to dot it down in the quarter. Leader continued his streak of successful conversions. Again, Leader took the role of a playmaking number 10 by kicking ahead to winger Steve Dazzo who offloaded well to fullback Danny Collins who finished off a highlight reel try. Leader tied up the score to go into the final period.
Shortly after restarting, RUNY regained the lead with another try. New England responded when Adams blocked and picked up a RUNY punt. After being passed through the hands, Ahmad Harajly found himself with the ball and ran through a defender to get the home side on the board again. Leader impressively hit his final conversion to stay a perfect 5 for 5 on the day, with 4 conversions coming from near the touchline. The match remained at a stalemate for ten minutes until New York converted a penalty to go up by three. With no time remaining, the Free Jacks regained possession off the kickoff. However, after three minutes of continuous phase play, the ball was knocked on to end the match. The final score was New York 38-35 New England.
With only a handful of weeks of practice under its belt, the Free Jacks put on an impressive performance that demonstrated the potential of the club and the strength of rugby in the region. Captain Tadhg Leader was named the man of the match through his ability to threaten defenses and create game-changing plays through his kicking abilities. Danny Collins held the last line of defense at fullback by making a number of hard-hitting stops. Forwards Owen Hundt and Diego Maquieira were a danger to the defense with the ball in hand which provided steady go forward for New England’s attack. The 17 reserve players introduced into the match maintained a high level of play and cohesiveness which speaks to the strength of the Free Jacks’ depth.
The Free Jacks will head into 2019 with high spirits thanks to a strong on-field performance and an even stronger fan presence at the match. The boisterous crowd of over 700 strong was treated to a fantastic exhibition, with a local brewery and food trucks providing a memorable game experience. The club will now turn its attention to the Spring Series against the Irish provincial “A” sides. Location and ticketing details on these events will be released in January 2019.
“The Cold War” Friendly to be held at Union Point in Weymouth, MA, on December 1 at 1 pm
Pre-season match to help RUNY get ready for the 2019 MLR season
Opportunity for local New England talent to emerge ahead of the Free Jacks entry into the 2020 MLR competition
Admission Free for registered New England Free Jacks supporters
Boston, Mass – The Free Jacks, New England’s newly announced professional rugby team, will host Rugby United New York (RUNY) in a preseason ‘friendly’ on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the newly built rugby pitch at Union Point Sports Complex—home of Boston RFC, South Shore Anchors, and the Women’s Premier League (WPL)’s Beantown RFC.
Opening day sees the Free Jacks hosting Connacht A on Saturday, March 16
Six matches in total all to be played in New England in spring 2019
Sets the stage for the Free Jacks entry into the 2020 MLR competition
Boston, Mass. (November 9, 2018)– The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and the Free Jacks, New England’s newly announced Major League Rugby team, have joined forces to bring high-level professional rugby to the United States in the spring of 2019.
First Free Jacks’ Local Talent ID Opportunity
Hosted at Pine Banks Park in Melrose, Massachusetts
Monday, November 12 from 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Boston, MA – The New England Free Jacks will be hosting their first of many mini-combines (“minibines”, as some might say) Pine Banks Park in Malden, Mass. on the evening of November 12th. The minibine will be used to help identify talent by the Free Jacks’ in the build-up to their 2019 spring exhibition season and entrance into Major League Rugby regular competition in 2020. While the Free Jacks have had some signings so far, it will be crucial for the club to develop a pathway for local talent to be identified for selection.
The minibine will test rugby skills and decision making as well as serve as an opportunity for players to learn from top-class coaches who will run the event.
“This will be a great opportunity for the local New England club and college players to get into our development pool,” said coach Josh Smith. “We are committed to building our foundation through the local players and will continue to help develop the grassroots rugby in the area. This "minibine" will be the first of many as we use this platform to discover potential MLR talent, whether it be a veteran club player or a former track star. The session will be open for all local coaches and players to attend.”
Those who are interested in applying to participate can do so by signing up on the Free Jacks’ website.
For questions on the event please reach out to coach Josh Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Ever professional match for Rugby Club New England
Long-established team Ontario Arrows takes the win 6 tries to 2
A strong second half shows the team has a bright future
Halifax - Boston historic connection on display throughout
Halifax, Canada – The Free Jacks took the field at Halifax’s Wanderers Grounds on a damp and windy afternoon against the Ontario Arrows for New England’s first match ever.
“Today was a proud day for our club,” said tour head coach Josh Smith. “It was always going to be a tough ask putting this together so quickly and traveling to Halifax to a face a quality side like Ontario. It took the first half to find our form, but I was very pleased with the response from the boys coming out of the shed in the 2nd half.”
“Most importantly we got a great look at a lot of local New England talent and can move forward with the team building phase.”
Long-Term Build-up to 2020 Starts Tomorrow for New England’s 1st Professional Rugby Team
2 PM ADT Kickoff in Halifax vs Ontario Arrows to be streamed
Free Jacks building towards 2020 Major League Rugby season
24 of 26 players named born, raised, and / or schooled in New England
2x National Champion, Josh Smith, to take reigns for this tour
Boston, MA – The New England Free Jacks are riding north to Halifax, Canada, to face off against the Ontario Arrows in their first ever match on Saturday at 2:00 PM ET at Halifax’s Wanderers Grounds.
Boston’s First Professional Rugby Team Welcomes World Class Rugby Executive
Boston, MA – The New England Free Jacks are excited to announce that Alex Magleby has been named Chief Executive Officer of the new organization. Previously, he served as USA Rugby's General Manager of National Teams & High Performance where he oversaw all sides of performance rugby at the National Governing Body, including World Cup and Olympic campaigns, national teams, All-Americans, age-grades, player development pathways, and the supporting business operations. Magleby will finish out his contract with USA Rugby through December of this year.
On the field, Magleby's rugby career included playing as a 7s and 15s Eagle, serving as captain of the National Sevens team, coaching Dartmouth College to two national sevens Collegiate Rugby Championships, and guiding the USA Rugby 7s national team in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to historic best ever finishes.
ALEX MAGLEBY TO ASSUME ROLE WITH NEW ENGLAND MLR TEAM AFTER CONTRACT WITH USA RUGBY IN 2019
October 16, 2018
Alex Magleby moves on from GM role with USA Rugby, to join newest MLR team in New England.
Magleby will complete contract with USA Rugby through end of 2018.
Magleby: "We have a tremendously empowering, egalitarian sport, and Major League Rugby is a wonderful new tool to help accelerate the sharing of our values and rich rugby experiences with others."
LAFAYETTE, CO - With the emergence of Major League Rugby (MLR) and the professional standard of the game on the rise, USA Rugby General Manager of National Teams and High-Performance Alex Magleby announced today his plans to finish out his contract with the organization through December 2018 and join the newly announced professional franchise in New England, the Free Jacks, as Chief Executive Officer.
(HALIFAX, NS) – Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (S|E|A) is pleased to announce that professional international men’s rugby will be coming to the Wanderers Grounds this month! On October 20th, Canada’s first professional men’s rugby team, the Ontario Arrows will play an international match at the revitalized Wanderers Grounds in Halifax against the New England Free Jacks. The Free Jacks, based out of Boston, were recently accepted into Major League Rugby, North America’s professional rugby competition.
SALT LAKE CITY (September 20, 2018) – Major League Rugby announced today the acceptance of two new member teams based in Atlanta and Boston, two cities known for their passionate sports fans. The new teams will begin play in the 2020 season, the third season for the young league.
The new team in Boston will build on the city’s rich sports legacy and deep rugby history. The first rugby match played in the US was played in Boston between McGill and Harvard in 1875. Today, the New England region is home to the highest number of rugby clubs per capita with over 230 programs, including Mystic River Rugby Club, winners of two of the last three USA Rugby National D1 Club Championships.