New England Free Jacks Side For 1st Tune-up

The New England Free Jacks are one of three new teams set to make their mark on the MLR this year, and they'll get a chance to have their first preseason game this weekend against the New England Independents. 

The Free Jacks were formed more than a year ago, but spent their first season playing in the Cara Cup against the Irish Pro14 academy sides rather than playing in the MLR. 

They've built a good-looking roster of 34 strong for this year's campaign, with 23 set to debut on Saturday. 

Here's the squad:

Up front, the Free Jacks are anchored by former Mitre 10 Rugby standout for Wellington and Hawkes Bay, Tongan Tolu Fahamokioa, and 78-cap Japan international Kensuke Hatakeyama at prop. 

Hooker Sean McNulty is the younger brother of Ireland and Rambling Jesters 7s star Harry, and has come up through the Leinster academy ranks, even featuring for the top side on a few occasions. 

The second row is comprised of massive Irish lock Conor Kindregan, who represented the All-Ireland Club XV in 2019, and Jackson Thiebs, a big American from Portland, OR who played offensive tackle for University of Montana's football team before picking up rugby post-grad with Mystic River.

Youngster Owen Hundt out of St. Edwards High School in Ohio packs down on the flank. Hundt played in New Zealand with the Dunedin Sharks in Otago's premier club competition, and has spent time with Otago's Mitre 10 set up. His fellow flanker this Saturday will be Zack Stryffeler, the former NOLA Gold man who spent in the first two years of MLR in New Oreleans. 

At the back of the scrum, No. 8 Naulia Dawai leads the way. The 8-times-capped Fijian back rower has plied his trade professionally with Otago in New Zealand, where in 2015 he led the squad in tries, and with Connacht in the Guinness Pro14, where he made over 20 appearances in his two seasons there.

Halfback John Poland has represented Ireland at both the U-19 and the U-20 level, garnering man of the match honors against Wales in the 2016 U-20 Six Nations championship. He then went on to play for Munster, getting his first senior cap in the Pro14 in February of 2018.

Flyhalf Tadgh Leader is a Connacht academy representative and former Lindenwood Lion who captained the San Diego Legion in the first season of MLR before receiving his first USA cap in the 2019 ARC.  

The center pairing is made up of Life University great and 2019 graduate Mitch Wilson, and Poasa Waqanibau, a Fiji U-20 international who has spent lots of time as a powerful player with Canterbury of the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand. 


In the back three, current UMass student and former HS All-American Danny Collins locks down one wing, while Lindenwood standout and ex-Houston Sabercat Deion Mikesell mans the other side. Joining them in the back three is fullback Beaudein Waaka, a New Zealand 7s international and the brother of New Zealand Black Ferns winger Stacy Waaka. 

James Haskell Set For MMA Professional Debut

Former England rugby union international James Haskell will make his professional mixed martial arts debut in London on May 16th, it has been announced.

Four BOLD Predictions For The Weekend

Looking ahead to the upcoming weekend of rugby, there are a number of huge fixtures on tap. Major League Rugby moves into its third round, the Six Nations resumes, and collegiate rugby marches on through the teeth of its season. 

Guinness Pro14 Round 12 Watch Guide

The Guinness PRO14 continues this Friday with the start of Round 12. 

On-Form Vakatawa Returns As France Looks For 3-0 Six Nations Start

Barnstorming center Virimi Vakatawa has handed France a massive boost after being named in the team to play Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Biggar Cleared As Pivac Names Wales Team For France Test

Dan Biggar will start for Wales against France in the Six Nations on Saturday after recovering from a third head injury of this season.

Scotland Names Lineup, Looks For First 2020 Six Nations Win

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has dropped center Huw Jones for Saturday's Six Nations match with Italy with both sides bidding for their first win and the loser likely to end up with the wooden spoon.

If It Ain't Broken Don't Fix It: Ireland Side Unchanged For England Clash

Ireland coach Andy Farrell named an unchanged starting lineup for Sunday's Six Nations clash with England to the one that impressed in the 24-14 victory over 2019 Grand Slam winners Wales.

WATCH: Life Aims To Rebound At Home vs Rival Lindenwood

Following last week's defeat to the Arkansas State Red Wolves, their first in the past 30 games, the Life Running Eagles will look to get back in the win column on Saturday at 1:00 PM (ET) when they host the Lindenwood Lions. 

Cheslin Kolbe Reiterates Olympic Aspirations

Springbok World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe said on Sunday he was holding discussions with the South African Rugby Union to play at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

MLR, Super Rugby, & A Life Win Streak Snapped: 10 Monday Notes

With the Six Nations on an off week, all the attention in the rugbyverse was on the Club game, as Super Rugby, Major League Rugby, and the Pro14 raged on.