Boston’s first ever professional rugby team will take part in the 2020 season of the MLR with their roster being announced last week. The Free Jacks hosted the Cara Cup pre season tournament in March which saw them host the A sides of the 4 Irish provinces.
The Cara Cup was a great initiative and a great success in promoting the Free Jacks around the Boston area whilst also providing the Free Jacks players with invaluable experience of competing at the highest level against some of the brightest talent in Ireland which will surely stand them in good stead going into their first season in the MLR.
Players such as Tadhg Leader, Owen Hundt, Diego Maquieira and Christian Adams return to the upcoming season having gained valuable experience from the competition. In the case of Owen Hundt, the loose forward exceeded this by opting for a move to play with New Zealand’s Dunedin Sharks whilst also training with Otago’s Mitre 10 Cup squad whereas Tadhg Leader moved to the NOLA Gold towards the end of the 2019 season.
“Our goal this offseason was to put together a complete team top to bottom leveraging the resources and quality pool we had locally.”Josh Smith – New England Free Jacks Head Coach
Head coach Josh Smith has been keen to also maintain the homegrown feel of this Free Jacks team with several well-known Boston-developed players look to feature prominently, including USA Eagle prop Anthony Purpura, fullback Danny Collins, and the everlasting flanker Jon Kokinda.
Coach Smith stated “Our goal this offseason was to put together a complete team top to bottom leveraging the resources and quality pool we had locally. It will be very exciting to bring the new guys in to be embraced by the community and create a really dynamic competitive team environment. We can’t wait to see what they can do in 2020. We also look forward to assessing more players in the coming days through the MLR transfer process, the ARP / fall club season, and the Rugby World Cup.”
The Free Jacks will enter the 2020 season under the new league format which sees Eastern and Western conferences. Fellow newcomers Rugby ATL and Old Glory will also compete in the Eastern conferences along with the Free Jacks.
The Free Jacks full roster can be seen here.