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The New England Free Jacks, one of the new entrants in Major League Rugby (MLR), have implemented many solid initiatives before they begin league play next year. Under the aegis of Alex Magleby, the CEO, the team has engaged in preliminary efforts in its exhibition year to generate local awareness in the New England market, especially, the greater Boston area.
The first step was to affix an involving name to the rugby club. The answer became Free Jacks, which is a reference to the American Revolutionary War militias that battled the British, fighting under the banner of the Union JACK flag.
The club logo depicts a Paul Revere look-alike carrying a lantern while astride a stallion. Further, the club colors feature the patriotic red, white, and blue of the Stars and Stripes.
Remember, that initial 18th century rebellion and that first shot came from New England (i.e.; Boston Tea Party and skirmish at Lexington).
The Free Jacks opened 2018 with a three-game exhibition schedule against existing MLR sides, the Toronto Arrows, RUNY, and the Utah Warriors.
Then, in a savvy move to highlight their new presence, the Free Jacks scheduled the Cara Cup, a tournament that included the home side, and Irish A sides from the four provinces of Munster, Leinster, Connaught, and Ulster. The Free Jacks lost to Connaught A 38-7, and to Ulster A 43-15. They will play Munster on April 6th, and finish with Leinster April 14.
These Irish fifteens are B sides with younger players waiting to move up the county teams, which compete in the Guinness Pro 14 League along with Welsh, Scottish, and Italian clubs.
The Free Jacks have already lined up television coverage with NESN (New England Sports Network). Rhino is the official team ball.
General admission tickets are $30.00 with a VIP ticket at $95.00.
Matches are played at the Union Point Sports Complex in South Weymouth, Mass.
The team will play the Toronto Warriors on May 18, the visiting Irish fifteen Lansdowne on June 1 (at the Irish Cultural Center grounds), and end with game on June 14 against Old Glory DC, the new Washington, DC-based club that will also make its 2020 MLR debut.
Josh Smith is the coach.