Major League Rugby has officially arrived in the Northeast with the announcement of The New England Free Jacks. While they will not formally enter the MLR until the 2020 season, they have quickly assembled a team and will travel north today to take on the Ontario Arrows at the Wanderer’s grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The historic squad will be led by Mystic Rugby Head Coach Josh Smith and assistant coach Kareem Afifi and will feature 15 former or current Mystic players in the inaugural lineup.
Tune in to watch the match LIVE at 1:00PM ET on The Free Jacks Facebook page.
New England Free Jacks Roster
1. Luke Schlotman | Life | USA
2. Diego Maquieira | Mystic River | USA
3. Anthony Parry | NYAC | USA
4. Ronan McCusker | Mystic River | USA/Ireland
5. Jackson Thiebes | Mystic River | USA
6. Owen Hundt | Mystic River | USA
7. Matt Hughston (C) | Charlotte | USA
8. Chris Frazier | Mystic River | USA
9. Erik Thompson | Mystic River | USA
10. Ben Cima | Rocky Gorge | USA
11. Christian Adams | Mystic River | USA
12. Tadhg Leader (VC) | St. Louis Royals | USA/Ireland
13. Peter Lupton | Boston Irish Wolfhounds | USA/England
14. Steve Dazzo | Mystic River | USA
15. Danny Collins | Boston Irish Wolfhounds | USA
16. Stephen Hinshaw | Mystic River | USA
17. David McKenna | Mystic River | USA
18. Sean Moran | Boston Irish Wolfhounds | USA
19. Myles McQuone | Fairfield Yankees | USA
20. Thor Lafromboise | Mystic River | USA
21. Jon Kokinda | Mystic River | USA
22. Ian Luciano | Mystic River | USA
23. Jihad Khabir | Mystic River | USA
New England Free Jacks Staff
Head Coach: Josh Smith
Technical Advisor: James Willocks
Assistant Coach: Kareem Afifi
Physical Therapist: Brian Davis
Operations: Owen Scannell
Manager: Ben Nathan
Media: Andrew Park
A huge congratulations to Christopher Frazier, who has been selected to represent the USA 7s team in the AF International Sevens tournament in Manchester, UK. Chris has been a stand out player for Mystic River in both 15s and 7s, most recently captaining the 7s team to a 3rd place finish at the National Championship tournament in August.
Christopher has been a regular invite to USA 7s camps this year. He also was selected to the USA Falcons development squad earlier this summer at the Rugbytown Sevens tournament in Glendale, CO. Although the Manchester tournament is uncapped, Christopher will get an opportunity to play along side World Series regulars and many who represented the USA during the Olympics.
When asked what it meant to be selected Christopher said, “To represent the US in Manchester means everything. A lot of hard work and sacrifice has been put in for this opportunity, and I’m ready to have a crack with the boys.”
To read more about the team and tournament, visit https://bit.ly/2OWJoaB
Best of luck, Christopher!
Chris Frazier scoring in 7s
This past weekend the D2 Mystic Barbarians hosted Amoskeag RFC, while the ARP Mystic River side traveled to New York to take on NYAC.
The Mystic Barbarians earned a commanding win over Amoskeag to the tune of 48-5. The victory sees the squad undefeated and tied for 1st place in the NERFU standings. Try scorers were Urban Iyo (3x), John Daly (2x), Xhevat Vukel, Dor Pearl, and KC Gordon. Stephen Diamantopoulos was successful from the tee on 4 conversion kicks.
The ARP Mystic River side took on NYAC in a rematch of the D1 National Semi Final, which saw Mystic River squeak out a 26-25 victory on their way to a National Championship. Mystic River ended up coming short 32-40 on this day, however, with tries coming from Stephen Dazzo, Jared Collinson, and Jeff LaFlamme. Spike Armstrong nailed 3/4 conversions and added 2 penalty kicks.
Join us this Saturday, September 29th, at Pine Banks Park in Malden, MA for what will be our only double header of the Fall season. The D2 Mystic Barbarians will start the day taking on the Hartford Wanderers at 1:00PM. The ARP Mystic River side will then host rivals Old Blue at 3:00PM. The weather forecast calls for a warm and sunny fall afternoon, which should make for an exciting day of rugby for all.
We look forward to seeing Mystic Nation supporting both sides this weekend!
This Weekend’s Schedule
1:00PM: D2 Mystic Barbarians vs Hartford Wanderers
3:00PM: ARP Mystic River vs Old Blue RFC
1:00PM: ARP Mystic River @ Life University (Marietta, GA)
The Fall 2019 season kicked off with a weekend of games against our longtime rival, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds. Mystic Old Boys started the day with a victory against the Greyhounds, winning 34-22. The Wolfhounds usual strong, experienced side tested the fitness of our old guys in the first half, keeping the score tied at 17-17 at the break. The side gelled in the 2nd half, though, as the veterans up front did a better job of securing possession in the ruck and set pieces, providing possession to the backs. The backs, rather than playing for one on one opportunities, began to string passes together and found gaps in the defense for several long tries. The Wolfhounds kept up the pressure, pulling within five before two late Mystic tries put the game away. The Old Boys will suit up one more time this fall, on 10/20 vs. South Shore.
The D2 Barbarians match was up next and started the scoring immediately. New Mystic Eric Kasiita scored just one minute into the match to give the boys in blue an early lead. Not to be outdone by his fellow Ugandan, Adnan Kawuma followed that try with one of his own, stiff-arming Wolfhounds’ defenders that tried to tackle him. The early 10-0 lead grew further with Aki Raymond, John Daly, and Aaron Evans finding their way into the try zone as Spike Armstrong notched three conversions in his return to the 15’s pitch. Mystic led the Wolfhounds 36-14 heading into halftime. The second half proved to be more of the same for the Gulls, as new Mystic Brian Patterson scored his first try for the team in the half’s early minutes. Malik Wilbon showed off the speed we saw throughout 7’s season, scoring two tries, and Skipper John Daly added another try before the end of the day. Stephen Diamantopoulos slotted three conversions in the second half, and the Mystic River Barbarians beat the Wolfhounds 67-26. Both Mystic River sides have a bye over the holiday weekend.
9/8 (SAT) 1:00 PM – ARP vs Life Running Eagles
9/8 (SAT) 1:00 PM – D2 @ Portland
9/16 (SAT) 2:00 PM – ARP vs. NYAC
We hope to see Mystic Nation out in full force for this early season showdown!
As always, thank you for your support.