New England Free Jacks Best Players of All Time

John Rizzo

Updated on:

New England Free Jacks Best Players

The New England Free Jacks are a professional rugby union team based in the Greater Boston area that competes in Major League Rugby (MLR). Founded in 2018, they have quickly become one of the most exciting teams to watch on MLR’s growing international stage. The Free Jacks are committed to developing and promoting local talent while competing at the highest level of American professional rugby. With an impressive lineup of experienced players from around the world, this is sure to be a season not to miss.

Table of Contents

1. Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen is a rugby union player who currently plays for the New England Free Jacks in the USA. He was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia and played senior club rugby with Taieri RFC before joining Austin Elite ahead of the 2019 season.

In 13 appearances for New England Free Jacks, he has scored 10 points including 4 tries. Josh is a powerful lock forward who excels at carrying the ball over long distances and creating space for his team-mates on attack or defence. 

Josh Larsen began playing rugby at a young age, and quickly became enamored with the sport.

Josh was a member of Northland's provincial side for two years before being called up to the national team in 2014. He made his debut against Tonga, scoring a try on his way to becoming one of Canada's most promising players. 

In 2017 he captained Canada U20s to their first ever Super Rugby Championship victory, cementing himself as one of the country's top stars.

He has since continued representing Canada at international level, starring in both Test matches and tournaments such as The Rugby Championship and World Cup Qualifiers.

2. Joe Johnston

Joe Johnston is a rugby union player who has represented New Zealand at junior and senior level. He was born in 1998 in New Zealand, and played for the Otago Highlanders before moving to England to play for Gloucester Rugby.

In February 2017, he signed with Scottish side Glasgow Warriors on a two-year contract. Joe Johnston made his international debut for New Zealand against Tonga in November 2016, scoring a try in their 52-14 victory. 

He has also been selected for the 2017 Churchill Cup tournament, where he contributed four tries as New Zealand won all six of their games including an impressive 38-10 win over France which saw him named man of the match; this saw him awarded rookie of the year by World Rugby's website Rugby 365.

Joe Johnston is currently contracted to Glasgow Warriors until 2020 Joe Johnston is a flanker who has played for Bay of Plenty and New England Free Jacks in the ITM Cup. 

Joe Johnston made his debut for Bay of Plenty in 2019 and has since scored 10 apps, all from the flanker position. Joe Johnston is likely to continue playing rugby at the professional level, as he possesses good footwork and ball-carrying ability. 

Joe Johnston will be an important player for both teams during the 2021 season, as he looks set to maintain his place in both sides' line-ups.

3. Pieter Jansen

Pieter Jansen is a hooker who has played for the Lions and Golden Lions XV in the Currie Cup. Pieter was born in South Africa, but moved to Europe to play rugby at a young age.

He made his debut for the Lions against Ulster in 2016 and has since become an important player for the side. Pieter is known for his hard work on the pitch and his ability to make breaks down defence.

He is currently contracted with Golden Lions until 2020 and looks set to continue playing at top level for some time yet Pieter Jansen first played rugby for the Falcons in 2008, and has since gone on to represent them at senior level.

In 2013, Pieter joined the Golden Lions and went on to make 34 appearances over two seasons before retiring from rugby in 2016. Since his retirement, Pieter has started playing club rugby with the Lions again and is currently their tenth-choice hooker.

4. Beaudein Waaka

Beaudein Waaka Career

  • 2012: Poverty Bay
  • 2013–2018: Taranaki
  • 2019–2020: Manly
  • 2020–2022: New England Free Jacks
  • 2015–2017: New Zealand

Beaudein is a fullback and first five-eighth for Manly. He was born in Whakatāne, New Zealand and attended Gisborne Boys' High School. Beaudein played rugby union for the Auckland Blues U20s before joining Manly as an injury replacement in 2017.

In 2018 he was named at Centre on the bench for the Kiwis' test against England and started their match against Wales later that year. 

Beaudein has also represented New Zealand at under 20 level, playing three tests in 2018 including one win over Scotland which secured qualification for the 2019 World Cup tournament in Japan .

Outside of rugby, Beaudein is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys SUP boarding, running and weightlifting Beaudein Waaka is a New Zealand sevens player who competed in the 2015–2017 World Series. 

She played for Poverty Bay in the 2012-2018 season and Taranaki from 2019 to 2020. Beaudein Waaka was part of the Manly side that reached the National Women's Sevens Championships final in 2020, but they were unable to win against Wellington.

Beaudein has also represented her country at U20 level and helped them reach fourth place at the 2016 Junior Women's World Cup tournament held in Spain. 

The 24 year old forward is currently studying law at Massey University and hopes to play rugby full time once she finishes her degree later this year.

5. Slade McDowall

Slade McDowall is a 24-year old flanker who currently plays for New England Free Jacks in the USA Rugby League. He made his debut for the Kiwis in 2017 and has since played 10 Tests, scoring one try.

Slade was born in 1998 and raised in New Zealand before moving to the US to pursue rugby union as a full-time career. 

He attended high school at Fort Scott High School before playing college rugby with Utah Valley University where he won two conference titles and was named MVP of both tournaments he played in during his time there.

In 2016, Slade joined newly formed side North Harbour Sea Eagles on a three-month trial but failed to make an impression and eventually signed with New England Free Jacks ahead of their inaugural season in 2017.

Which they completed as champions after defeating Seattle Seawolves 27–24 on aggregate in the play-offs final series Slade McDowall is a rugby union player who plays for Otago in the Super Rugby competition.

He has played for the Highlanders since their inception in 2016, but hasn't yet featured in any games this season. Slade McDowall is originally from Waikato and made his debut for New Zealand's national team at the age of 20 years old. 

In 2017, he was named Player of the Year by both The Times and Sport24 after helping Otago reach the playoffs that year - their first ever appearance in Super Rugby history. 

Slade McDowall is highly rated within New Zealand rugby circles and has been compared to All Blacks legend Dan Carter due to his skill set on the field.

6. Foster DeWitt

Foster DeWitt was born on 26 May 1996 in British Columbia, Canada. He started playing rugby union at the age of 10 and has since played for several junior teams both in North America and Europe.

In 2018, he made his senior debut for English team Saracens and quickly became a key player in their side. Foster is known for his powerful hooking style and is regarded as one of the most promising young players in world rugby union right now.

He is currently contracted to Saracens until 2021 and looks set to cement himself as one of the top stars in the sport over the next few years Foster DeWitt is a professional hockey player who most recently played for the New England Free Jacks of the AHL.

Foster DeWitt was born in Peterborough, Ontario and began playing organized hockey at an early age. After playing junior hockey with the Peterborough Petes, he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. 

In his four years with Colorado's development team, DeWitt scored 97 points in 209 games before being traded to New York Islanders on February 27th, 2016 as part of a three-team trade that also involved.

The Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes He made his debut for the Islanders later that night against Ottawa Senators and went on to play 57 games during his first season with them scoring 7 goals and 12 assists for 19 points.

7. John Poland

John Poland was born on 21 November 1996 in Ballinora, Cork, Ireland. He attended Presentation Brothers College and then University College Cork where he played rugby union for the university team.

John has represented New England Free Jacks in the USA Pro XV competition since 2017. John is a scrum-half and currently plays for New England Free Jacks in the USA Pro XV league system. 

In his amateur career, John has played for Sundays Well RFC and won two Munster titles with them as well as an All-Ireland title in 2016/17 season.

He will compete at this year's World Rugby U20 Championship with Ireland A starting from their opening match against Georgia on 6th September 2018 John Poland is a Gaelic footballer who plays for Munster in the Irish Premier Division. 

He has also played for Ireland U20 and was part of the team that won the 2016 Six Nations Championship.

John Poland is an attacking midfielder with a good eye for goal, and his performances at club level have drawn interest from some top European sides. 

He made his debut for Munster in 2017 and quickly became one of their key players, helping them to win promotion to the Irish Premier Division as champions in 2018–19 season.

8. Dougie Fife

Dougie Fife Career

  • 1997-2008: Boroughmuir
  • 2011–2019: Edinburgh Rugby
  • 2021–2022: New England Free Jacks
  • 2023: New Orleans Gold
  • 2009–2010: Scotland U20
  • 2014–2018: Scotland
  • 2016–2020: Scotland 

Dougie Fife is a Scottish rugby union player who plays at centre or wing. He first played for Edinburgh Academicals in the youth ranks before moving to England to study at Telford College, and then onto Worcester Warriors in 2011.

Dougie made his senior debut for Worcester in 2012 and has since gone on to make over 100 appearances for the club, including seasons in both the Premiership and European Rugby Champions Cup competitions. 

In May 2016, it was announced that Dougie had signed a three-year contract with Glasgow Warriors starting from 2017–18 season.

Dougie represented Scotland at under-20 level before making his full international debut against Wales in November 2013, going on to earn 15 caps overall as of December 2018.

Dougie Fife is a Scottish professional rugby player who currently plays for Edinburgh Rugby. Dougie Fife has been involved in the Scottish national team since 2009, and has played at U20, U21, and 7s levels.

Dougie Fife was born on October 9th 1995 in Dundee, Scotland. Dougie Fife first came to prominence with his club side Edinburg Rugby where he won the RFU Championship title in 2011/12 season. 

In February 2021 it was announced that Dougie had signed for New England Free Jacks in America's PRO14 competition as they competed in their inaugural season following promotion from the National League Division 2 Midwest Region of USA Rugby league play.

9. Erich de Jager

Erich de Jager Career

  • 2009–2014: Eastern Province Kings
  • 2015–2017: Free State Cheetahs
  • 2016: Griffons
  • 2016–2020: Free State XV 24
  • 2017–2020: Free State Cheetahs
  • 2018–2020: Cheetahs
  • 2019–2020: Griffons
  • 2021: New England Free Jacks
  • 2021: Griquas

Erich de Jager was born on February 29th, 1996 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He attended Hoërskool Brandwag and played rugby union for the school's team.

In 2016, he enrolled at University of the Free State to study business administration. De Jager made his debut for New England Free Jacks in 2017 as a prop and has since cemented himself as one of the key players for the side.

Erich is known for his powerful running style and aggressive play in front of the opposition pack. He is also renowned for his accurate passing game which allows him to set up teammates easily. 

Erich is currently contracted with New England until 2020 and looks poised to continue playing top-level rugby league into adulthood.

Erich de Jager is a talented rugby player who has excelled at both provincial and international level. De Jager started his career with the Eastern Province Kings in 2009, before moving to the Free State Cheetahs in 2015. 

He was part of the team that won the Currie Cup in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, he joined up with fellow South African side Griffons - who compete in North America's Pro14 competition - until 2020.

De Jager is currently contracted to New England Free Jacks for 2021 and 2022 seasons prior to returning home to play for Eastern Province Kings again next year.

10. Wian Conradie

Wian Conradie was born in Windhoek, Namibia on October 14th 1994. He began playing rugby union at the age of 12 and has since played for several amateur teams including UJ.

In 2019 he joined the senior side Welwitschias and made his debut against Blue Bulls in Pretoria a few weeks later. Wian is primarily a flanker but can also play as an outside centre or number 8 if needed.

His main strength seems to be his speed and agility which allows him to get past defenders easily; this has seen him score some crucial tries for Welwitschias during his time with the team so far.

Although he only started playing rugby seriously about two years ago, Wian looks like he could have a long and successful career ahead of him; we will keep an eye out for future performances from this talented young player.

Wian Conradie is a gifted footballer who has represented his country at under-20 level. He was born in South Africa, but moved to the UK as a child and played for Doncaster Knights before joining Dallas Jackals in 2016. 

In 2018, he signed for Gloucester City and helped them win promotion to the English Premier League. He has been described as an attacking midfielder with great technical ability and ball control; this makes him very difficult to defend against on the ground or from set pieces.

His career looks promising and he will be looking to continue his good form in the Premier League this season.

Also Played For: major league rugby, namibia rugby

11. Mills Sanerivi

Mills Sanerivi was born on 31 August 1999 in New Zealand. She is 1.81 m tall and weighs 113 kgs (17.8 st). 

Mills started playing rugby union when she was just six years old and has since played for the Wellington Girls' High School First XV as well as representing her country at U16, U18, U19 and U21 level before making her full international debut against Tonga in 2018.

Despite being only 23 years of age, Mills has already made quite a name for herself within the sport with many expecting great things from her in the future both domestically and internationally. 

In 2019 she signed with Australian side Melbourne Rising who compete in Australia's National Rugby Championship (NRC). Mills Sanerivi made his debut for Taranaki in the 2021 season.

He spent two seasons with the club before transferring to New England Free Jacks in 2022. Mills is a talented hooker and flanker who can play on either side of the scrum. 

His strong ball carrying skills make him an effective carrier, and he also has good tactical awareness. Mills is a hard-working player who puts in all-out performances every time he takes to the field. 

He is always looking for opportunities to create tries for his team, and he will be a valuable asset on any squad that signs him up."

12. Isaac Olson

Isaac Olson was born in Vernon, British Columbia on 1 June 2000. He began playing rugby union at the age of six and quickly showed talent for the sport.

In his senior year of high school, he played for the UBC Thunderbirds RFC and helped them make it to the final of the Canadian Rugby Championships. 

Olson signed a contract with English side Saracens ahead of their 2016-17 season and has since made five appearances for them in Premiership play.

He also represented Canada at Under 20 level before being called up to their Senior squad in 2017 where he has been a regular starter ever since making his debut against Wales in September that year. 

Isaac is contracted with Saracens until 2020 and is currently preparing for England's tour of Argentina later this month which will be his first international test match appearance as captain.

Isaac Olson is a professional soccer player who currently plays for New England Free Jacks in the United Soccer League. Olson started playing soccer at an early age and quickly became one of Canada's top prospects. 

He made his international debut in 2017 and has since gone on to make several more appearances for his country. Olson is a versatile defender who can play both as a central defender or as a full-back, making him extremely effective when it comes to stopping opponents from scoring goals.

Despite being relatively young, Isaac Olson already has plenty of experience under his belt and is looking forward to continuing to develop as a player over the next few years. 

Isaac Olson is undoubtedly one of the most talented defenders in North America and will be crucial if Canada are hoping to improve their position on the global stage over the coming years.

13. Jesse Parete

Jesse Parete is a lock and flanker who has played for the Canon Eagles in New Zealand's National Rugby Championship. He was born on Easter weekend 1993 in Hāwera, New Zealand.

At 16 years old he started playing rugby union with his school team, New Plymouth Boys' High School. Jesse made his provincial debut for the Canterbury Rams in 2013 at just 18 years old and went on to play over 50 matches for them before moving to Wellington Hurricanes in 2017 where he currently plays club rugby.

In 2016 Jesse was named as part of the All Blacks U20 training squad but didn't make an appearance due to injury sustained during a trial match against Samoa U20s later that year which ruled him out of contention for selection into the NZ national side ahead of their Rio Olympics campaign that year.

Jesse emerged from international retirement after being called up by new head coach Steve Tew for the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers in August 2018 as a replacement for injured Flanker Liam Coltman and has since featured regularly off the bench helping guide.

The Canons through to next year's NPC Final (the highest level domestic competition) scoring 2 tries along way including an immaculate long range penalty taking goal vs Tasman Makos which sealed victory 38-24 - one point away from claiming their first ever NPC title.

He will be looking to build upon this successful season when competing once again under Tew's tutelage as they aim towards qualifying directly into Japan 2019, becoming only the 5th non European nation ever achieve this feat. 

Jesse Parete is a New England Free Jacks player who has played in the Super Rugby since 2014. He started his career with Taranaki and was then signed by Bay of Plenty before moving to Chiefs in 2016. 

In 2018, he made the switch to the Highlanders where he would play until 2020 when he joined up with New England Free Jacks for their inaugural season in the competition. 

Jesse has represented both New Zealand at Under 20 level and also captained the side during that time, as well as playing 7 Tests for The All Blacks between 2013-2015 including 3 World Cup Qualifiers. 

Outside of rugby, Jesse is an engineering student and loves spending time with friends & family along with cooking new recipes - something which can often be seen on social media.

14. Scott Mathie

Scott Mathie is a rugby union coach, who has had a long and successful career in the sport. He started his playing career as a scrum-half with Blue Bulls in 2002, before moving onto Eastern Province Kings later that year.

In total, he has made over 350 appearances for various teams throughout his illustrious rugby union career, scoring 47 tries along the way. 

ScottMathie was named head coach of Eastern Province Kings at the start of 2017, and is currently leading them to victory in the Currie Cup Premier Division title race.

Scott Mathie has been coaching in the Super Rugby competition since 2006. He is currently head coach of the New England Free Jacks and his team finished 7th out of 10 teams in their debut season. 

Scott Mathie also had a brief spell as interim head coach for the Sharks, before taking over from Ian Foster at Leeds Carnegie in 2011.

His playing career was spent with Eastern Province Kings where he won 23 caps between 2002 and 2005 - including nine appearances during South Africa's successful 2003 World Cup campaign.

15. Tadhg Leader


  • Panthers Wrocław (2021)
  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2022)*

Tadhg Leader is a 30-year-old placekicker who played for the Panthers in Poland and Hamilton in Canada. Leader was born in Galway, Ireland and attended Cistercian College before transferring to Lindenwood University Lasell University to study business management.

In 2021, he signed with the Panthers of Wrocław, but only spent one season there before being traded to the Tiger-Cats midway through the 2022 season. Leader has since been released by both teams and is now playing rugby full time for a team in Hungary.

He is currently living back home in Ireland where he works as an accountant and continues his football career part time with regional side Coláiste Iarfhlaithi Cluain Mhuire Leader is a fly-half who has been playing in the Canadian Rugby Union for several years.

He played for Galwegians before moving to rugby union teams in Canada and Europe. Leader made his senior debut with Connacht in 2014, and since then has represented San Diego Legion and New England Free Jacks. 

Leader is known for his accurate kicking game; he currently has 42 points on the season through two games with New England Free Jacks this year.

16. Wayne van der Bank

Wayne van der Bank is a centre for the Pretoria-based side Hoërskool Menlopark. He made his first team debut in 2013, and has since played in all four of their annual cups.

Van der Bank attended high school at Hoërskool Menlopark before starting his rugby union career with the academy there. In 2016, he was included in South Africa's under-20 squad that competed at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in France.

Wayne van der Bank is both strong on attack and defensively minded, able to win ball near the ruck or support himself when carrying it out of defence. 

He is also an accurate kicker off either foot - something that has helped him score some important tries during his time as a professional player so far.

His performances for Menlopark have seen him called up to provincial sides from time to time; most recently he represented Griquas during their 2017 Currie Cup campaign.

With talent like this, who knows where Wayne van der Bank could go next? Wayne van der Bank is a current member of the New England Free Jacks rugby team.

Wayne started playing rugby in his early teens and quickly became obsessed with the sport. He has since played for several different teams across North America, but is most proud of his time spent with the Golden Lions XV squad. 

Wayne is known for his hard work on and off the pitch, as well as his passion for the game itself.

He will be looking to carry that success over to the New England Free Jacks this season, aiming to help them reach their goals both on and off of the field.

17. Stan van den Hoven

Stan van den Hoven was born in the Netherlands on 22 November 1998. Van den Hoven started playing rugby union at a young age and made his debut for Rabobank U16s in 2014.

He has since played for several Dutch clubs, most notably RKC Waalwijk where he won three Eredivisie titles (2015-2017) and two KNVB Cups (2018, 2019). 

In February 2020, van den Hoven signed with English side Bath Rugby ahead of their inaugural season in the Premiership competition.

Stan is considered one of the brightest talents in European rugby and is seen as a key player for Bath's future success both on and off the field. 

As well as his rugby career, van den Hoven is also studying commercial engineering at university level to further his career prospects after making the switch from amateur to professional footballing status last year Stan van den Hoven began his senior rugby career with Bay of Plenty in 2018.

Van den Hoven moved to New England Free Jacks in the off-season and made an immediate impact, appearing in five games and scoring zero points.

In 2020, Stan van den Hoven returned to Bay of Plenty and continued to be a key player for them over the next two seasons, before moving back north for Taranaki at the end of 2022.

18. Sean McNulty

Sean McNulty Career

  • 2006–2007: Bahrain RFC
  • 2011–2014: Munster Rugby
  • 2015–2016: Leinster Rugby
  • 2016–2018: Leinster A
  • 2019–2020: New England
  • 2019: RUNY (loan)
  • 2021: LA Giltinis
  • 2013: Ireland Schoolboys
  • 2014: Ireland U19
  • 2014–2015: Ireland U20

Sean McNulty is a hooker for Munster Rugby and Leinster Rugby. He made his senior debut for Munster in 2016 and has since played 26 games for the province.

Sean was born in London, England, in 1995. After playing rugby union at Rockwell College and University College Dublin (UCD), he joined Bahrain RFC in 2015 as a development player before moving to Munster the following year.

In 2018 he signed with Worcester Warriors on a two-year contract from 2019 onwards. Sean McNulty is a professional rugby player who has played for both Ireland and Leinster. Sean McNulty was born in Co Carlow, Ireland on 5 January 1998.

Sean McNulty first came to prominence as a schoolboy with Ireland, playing in the Under-18 Junior World Championship and then captaining the side at the Under-20 level before graduating to senior status with Leinster A in 2018. 

In his debut season with Leinster A, Sean McNulty helped guide the team to promotion from the PRO12 competition.

Their first-ever league title - culminating in him being named Player of the Year awardee by both his club and country following an impressive year that also saw him make his international début against Wales at Aviva Stadium on 6 September 2018.

Ahead of the 2019–20 season, it was announced that McNulty had signed a loan deal with New England Patriots based out of Boston until May 2020 whilst he continues preparations for selection for Ireland’s forthcoming Six Nations campaign which begins against Italy on 2 February 2020.

19. Tolu Fahamokioa

Tolu Fahamokioa is a Tongan international rugby union player who has played for Wellington College and Waikato. Tolu Fahamokioa made his senior debut for Waikato in 2013, and has since become an integral part of the side.

He has scored 10 tries in 11 appearances for the team. Tolu Fahamokioa is known for his powerful running game, which makes him a formidable loosehead prop opponent. 

In addition to playing rugby, Tolu also enjoys surfing and diving; he represented Tonga at both events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

On 5 May 1991, Tolu Fahamokioa was born in Haveluloto on Tongatapui Island, off the north-east coast of Vava'Ufia Samoa (then Western Samoa). 

After completing secondary school in New Zealand, Tahi played two seasons with Taranaki before moving to Wellington College where he first came onto prominence as a standout loosehead prop forward Tolu Fahamokioa is a Tongan rugby union player who has represented his country at youth and senior level.

He made his international debut for Tonga in 2018 and went on to score one try during their 2019 Pacific Nations Cup campaign. 

Tolu Fahamokioa currently plays club rugby with Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup, having previously played for Hawke's Bay, North Harbour and Auckland Blues respectively. 

Tolu Fahamokioa was born in New Zealand but moved to Tonga as a child before returning to New Zealand to attend high school. He is of Samoan descent through his mother and Fijian ancestry through his father - both countries he has represented internationally at junior level.

In October 2020, Tolu will join Waikato province on a three-year contract starting from Round 1 of the 2021 Super Rugby season.

20. Ahmad Harajly

Ahmad Harajly was born in Dearborn, Michigan in 1994. He played rugby union for Ohio Aviators and New England Free Jacks between 2016-2020. Ahmad Harajly has represented the United States at under 20 level and junior level.

He is a strong centre who is hard to stop on the ground or through the air with his kicking game. Ahmad Harajly is a Lebanon born rugby player who has been rising to prominence on the international stage. 

He was selected for the Lebanon national team in 2016 and has since made several appearances for them, scoring five tries along the way.

Ahmad Harajly is one of many young Lebanese players that are helping lead their country to success on the rugby field.

21. Anthony Purpura

Anthony Purpura Career

  • 2006–2007: Mystic River
  • 2007–2017: Boston R.C.
  • 2017: Old Blue
  • 2018: San Diego Legion
  • 2019: New England Free Jacks
  • 2010: United States

Anthony Purpura is a 36-year old prop from Massachusetts who has played for both the US and England rugby union teams. He started playing rugby at university in 2006, and made his international debut for the USA later that year.

Purpura joined Wasps RFC in 2007, where he spent four seasons before moving to Leicester Tigers in 2015. 

In 2017, Purpura was named Rugby Union Players' Player of the Year after helping Leicester to their first ever English premiership title.

After leaving Leicester at the end of 2018, Purpura signed with Gloucester Rugby until 2021.. Purpura was born on July 6, 1997 in Manchester, New Hampshire. He attended the Portsmouth High School where he played for their varsity soccer team as a midfielder.

Purpura then went on to play college soccer at Boston College where he started all four years of his collegiate career and helped the Eagles reach the NCAA Tournament twice (2013 & 2014). 

After graduating from BC with a degree in Business Administration in 2016, Purpura signed with MLS side San Diego Legion before being drafted by NE Revolution in 2018 during the expansion draft process.

Purpura has made two league appearances for NE Revolution so far this season and has also featured for United States youth teams including playing at both U17 World Cup and U20.

World Cup tournaments earlier this year scoring one goal against Chile U20s en route to winning Group A title at 2019 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship tournament earning him/

Golden Boot award alongside teammate Keaton Parks who scored 4 goals total over 7 games throughout group stages + playoffs).

22. Liam Steel

Liam Steel is a 31-year old New Zealand rugby union player who has played for the Blues and North Harbour in the Mitre 10 Cup. He made his debut for the Blues against Taranaki in 2010, and has since gone on to make over 100 appearances for them.

Liam Steel also features regularly for the All Blacks, making 14 appearances between 2011 and 2015 (including two Tests against England). In 2016, he joined North Harbour as their new captain following Tony Brown's departure to Wellington Rugby Union Club.

Liam steel was part of New Zealand's squad that won The Bledisloe Cup in 2017, beating Australia 41-17 at Eden Park in Auckland Liam Steel is a center/wing player who has spent the majority of his career playing for Auckland in New Zealand. 

He made his debut for the Bay of Plenty as a 16-year-old and has since played 14 games for them, scoring 5 tries.

Steel was drafted into the 2020 season by New England Free Jacks in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL). 

In his three appearances so far this season he has scored 10 points through 3 conversions and 2 penalties kicks - helping to lead his side to victory over Canberra Raiders on Sunday 30 January 2021.

23. Alexander Magleby

Alexander Magleby was born on February 19, 1978 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Highland High School and then Dartmouth College where he studied business administration.

After college, Alexander worked as a financial advisor before becoming the CEO of The New England Free Jacks rugby union team in 2016. 

Alexander has played for several clubs during his rugby career including Gentleman of Aspen (2000-2002) and Silverdale United RFC (2002-2004).

In 2016, he was named Senior Technical Advisor at Dartmouth Rugby following a successful stint with the USA Eagles national rugby union team from 2013 to 2015.

Outside of rugby, Alex is also an accomplished ski jumper and has competed internationally since 2006. Alexander Magleby is a rugby union player who has represented the United States on several national teams.

He played for Dartmouth Rugby from 2001 to 2012 and served as their head coach from 2009 to 2011. In 2013, he was named technical advisor to the USA 7s team, which competed at the World Cup that year. 

Magleby also coaches the US Collegiate All-Americans 7s and 15s teams and is considered one of America's best rugby players.

24. Naulia Dawai

Naulia Dawai is a 35-year-old Flanker who currently plays for the Seattle Seawolves in the USA Rugby League. 

Naulia Dawai was born on June 26th 1987 in Fiji and attended Marist Brothers High School before playing rugby union for various clubs throughout Asia Pacific, including New England Free Jacks (USARL) and Asia Pacific Dragons (Rugby Union).

In 2019, Dawai joined the Seattle Seawolves where he has so far made 24 appearances scoring 12 tries. Outside of his rugby career, Naulia Dawai works as an account manager at a financial institution and is also married with two children. 

Naulia Dawai first played for the New Zealand U20 side in 2013. She made her full international debut for the Kiwi senior team in March 2018, coming on as a replacement against Australia at Eden Park.

3. Dawai has also represented Otago at provincial level and was part of their Mitre 10 Cup winning squad in 2016/17 season. 

The 21-year-old is currently contracted to Southland and will be looking to help them qualify for the National Provincial Championship next year. Naulia Dawai is a versatile back who can play either inside or outside centre, making her an important member of any side that she features in.

With excellent speed and agility, Naulia Dawai is likely to cause problems for opposition defences with her running game both on attack and defence.

25. Simon Courcoul

Simon Courcoul was born in Laval, France on December 28th 1995. He began playing rugby union at the age of seven and soon progressed through the ranks of his local team, ASM Clermont Auvergne.

In 2014-2015 he made his senior debut for ASM Clermont Auvergne and went on to make 11 appearances over two seasons before joining Racing 92 in 2017. Simon is a prop who can play both inside and outside centre with good power and agility around the park.

He has represented France at Under 20 level as well as making one appearance for the Under 21 side during their campaign in Europe earlier this year. 

With Racing 92 appearing in Champions Cup semi finals this season, it will be interesting to see how Simon performs next term - potentially challenging for a starting spot come 2019/20 season Simon Courcoul is a French rugby player who has played for Narbonne and RC Aviron Bayonnais since the start of his career.

2. He made his international debut for France in 2015, playing against Tonga. 3. He was part of the Narbonne side that won promotion to Pro D2 during the 2017-2018 season, making 27 appearances and scoring six tries along the way.

In 2018, he signed with RC Aviron Bayonnais – newly promoted to Top 14 – and helped them reach their first ever final appearance in the competition, losing narrowly to Racing 92 in extra time (29-27). 

Council has been rewarded with selection for France's national team at various levels over recent years, including being called up for EuroBasket 2017.

Where they reached the quarterfinals before bowing out to Spain; as well as appearing at three Rugby World Cups (2015-2019), helping Les Bleus finish fourth on two occasions (2017 & 2019)

26. Timothée Guillimin

Timothée Guillimin Career

  • 2014-2016: Austin Huns
  • 2014-2016: SU Agen
  • 2018-2019: Austin Elite
  • 2019-: New England Free Jacks
  • 2014: France u18

Timothée Guillimin was born in 1996 in Pape'ete, Tahiti. He attended College Capouchiné and Lycée Jean Moulin before playing rugby union for Montpellier Herault and then New England Free Jacks as a fly half.

Guillimin is currently playing for New England Free Jacks in the USA's Premier Rugby Championship (PRC). In 2016 he made his international debut for France against Tonga, scoring two tries on his way to being named player of the match.

Timothée has also represented France at U18, U20, and U21 levels over the course of his career so far Timothée Guillimin is a French ice hockey player who currently plays for the Austin Elite of the American Hockey League (AHL). 

He was drafted by the New England Free Jacks in the 5th round, 134th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Guillimin made his professional debut with HC Fribourg-Gottéron of Switzerland's National League A at age 19 during the 2017–18 season. 

With HC Fribourg-Gottéron, he helped lead them to victory in both of their playoff series against SC Bern and EHC Visp while accumulating 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) across 22 games played. 

In May 2019, it was announced that Guillimin had signed an entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars organization following his successful performance at a development camp earlier that month.

Timothée is married to Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel and they have one child together - a daughter named Luna Rose born on July 2nd, 2019.

27. Ben LeSage

Ben LeSage Career

  • 2016: Calgary Canucks
  • 2016–19: 2016–19
  • 2019: 2019
  • 2020–21: Toronto Arrows
  • 2022: LA Giltinis
  • 2017: Prairie Wolf Pack
  • 2016: Canada

Ben LeSage is a 27-year-old Canadian rugby union player who currently plays for the UBC Thunderbirds. Ben has represented Canada at the youth level and was part of the Calgary Canucks side that won the 2016 Amway Cup.

After graduating from the University of British Columbia in 2017, Ben joined UBC Thunderbirds where he has made 11 appearances so far this season. Ben is known for his powerful running game and strong defense which have seen him become a key member of the team during his time there thus far.

With several years of experience under his belt, Ben looks to continue to develop as both a player and person in order to reach even greater heights in his rugby union career Ben LeSage is a dynamic forward who has been playing in the Canadian Premier League for two seasons now.

 He has scored 25 goals in 18 appearances with the Toronto Arrows and his performances have caught the eye of many teams across North America.

Ben is an excellent finisher, able to score from close range or from further out on the pitch, and he will be a valuable player for whichever team signs him next season. 

Le Sage is also good at creating chances for others, whether that's through taking on defenders one-on-one or by setting up teammates with accurate passes. 

His hardworking attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team win make him a popular member of any squad he joins and he should continue to develop as a professional footballer over time.

28. Joel Hintz

Joel Hintz is a rugby union player who has represented New Zealand at junior level and internationally. Joel was born in Masterton, New Zealand on 11 July 1996 and attended St Patrick's College before studying at Lincoln University.

In 2017, Joel made his debut for the Crusaders in Super Rugby competition, playing 5 matches during the season. Joel also played for Otago on loan from the Crusaders during their 2018 ITM Cup campaign, scoring 4 tries in 7 appearances overall.

With 6 caps to his name as of May 2019, it looks like Joel could potentially be called up for future national teams soon. Joel Hintz is a New England Free Jacks senior player. Joel has played 38 times for the Hawke's Bay team in the ITM Cup and Premiership Rugby competitions since 2019.

He started playing rugby as a youngster, representing his school and then Wellington before making the switch to North America in 2017 with Canterbury. 

After two seasons with Canterbury, he moved to Wellington where he was part of their successful 2018 season where they reached the Mitre 10 Cup Final and finished as runners up in Premiership Rugby behind Gloucester Rugby.

In March 2019, it was announced that Joel had signed for newly formed side Hawke's Bay for the upcoming 2019–2023 season." 

Joel is known for his speed offloading skills which allows him to create space for teammates or score tries himself; something that has helped him rack up 0 points during his current career at Hawke's Bay.

29. Poasa Waqanibau

Poasa Waqanibau is a wingback who first played for Border RFC in the 2015-2016 season. He has been capped for Fiji at under-20 and under-23 level but made his full international debut against Canada in November 2017.

Poasa Waqanibau is of Fijian descent and was born in Vunisinu, Dreketi, Rewa on 24 March 1994. He attended Ratu Kadavulevu School before playing rugby union for Border RFC since the age of 12 years old where he currently plays as a winger.

In addition to playing rugby union, Poasa also enjoys surfing and bodybuilding Poasa Waqanibau is a Fijian rugby player who has represented his country at junior and senior levels. 

He made his debut for the Fiji national team in 2014 and has since played several matches for them, including two appearances at the 2015 World Cup.

A versatile back-row forward, Poasa also plays association football for provincial side Nadi FC and was part of their squad that reached the semifinals of the 2017 FA Cup competition. 

In addition to rugby, Poasa is also an accomplished boxer having won gold medals in both heavyweight and middleweight categories at regional championships as well as representing Fiji internationally in that sport too.

With a wealth of experience under his belt both on and off the field, Poasa is looking to make even more impact with Fiji over the coming years.

30. Vili Tolutaʻu

Vili Tolutaʻu Career

  • 2012: Maui Warriors
  • 2018–2020: Seattle Seawolves
  • 2021-: New England Free Jacks
  • 2013–2014: United States U19
  • : United States U20
  • 2018–: United States U23
  • 2018–: USA Selects
  • 2018: United States

Vili Toluta'u is a 28-year-old hooker who has played for the New England Free Jacks in the American Rugby Premiership. Toluta'u was born and raised on the Hawaiʻi island of Kahului, where he attended Baldwin High School before attending Central Washington University.

After playing 2 seasons with Maui Warriors, Toluta'u signed with the NEFJ's inaugural season in 2018. A powerful scrum half or flanker, Vili is known as an aggressive player who excels at getting his side over the advantage line to set up tries. 

In 2017, he helped lead Central Washington to their first-ever D1 national title game appearance – losing 21-14 to Brigham Young University in Provo Utah – earning him All-American honors along the way.

His rugby career appears destined for success; having been called up by both Tonga and Samoa for international duty (Toluta’u made his debut against Fiji in 2016), it seems inevitable that he will make an impact on both club and international level during his time. 

He was professionally Born in Tonga, Vili Tolutaʻu played rugby union for the country at both junior and senior levels before being signed by New Zealand's Super Rugby side the Crusaders.

After a season with Canterbury, he moved to Seattle Seawolves in North America's top-flight Pro Rugby league competition for the 2018 season. 

He has already made an impression on his new team scoring two tries in five appearances so far this year. A hard-running forward, Toluta'u is looking to add more points to his tally as Seattle's head into their final game of the regular season this weekend against Houston Saber Cats.

31. Donald Brighouse

Donald Brighouse played rugby union for Otago in New Zealand from 2014 to 2018. He was a prop and contributed 10 points in 49 appearances for the team. With his size, strength and speed, Donald is an important player on the field for Taranaki.

He has represented NZ at U20 level and will look to add to that tally this year with the Junior All Blacks side. Outside of rugby, Donald enjoys playing cricket, running and spending time with family and friends Donald Brighouse is a full-time cricketer who plays for the Tasmanian Tigers.

He made his first-class debut for Tasmania in 2016, and has since played 25 matches for them. In 2018, he was named in the Australian squad to tour England, but did not play any games on the tour due to injury. He returned to cricketing action later that year and played 5 matches for Samoa A side before returning home to Tasmania again in 2019.

Donald Brighouse is a left-handed batsman who bowls right arm off break

32. Aleki Morris-Lome

Aleki Morris-Lome is a 28-year-old New Zealand rugby union player. Prior to turning professional, Aleki played for the University of Waikato in his home country.

He made his Super Rugby debut with the Crusaders in 2016 and has since also represented them in The Mitre 10 Cup and the Japan Rugby League Championship. In 2018, he signed a two year deal with French side Toulon following impressive performances at their end of season trial match against Harlequins RFC.

His versatility saw him named as both starting centre and substitute prop during Toulon's European Champions Cup campaign where they finished Runner Up to Racing 92 FC. 

Aleki is married to fellow Kiwi rugby player Kayla Morris who also plays for Waikato; together they have one son (born in October 2017). Outside of rugby, Aleki enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and cycling along with watching Formula 1 racing.

Aleki Morris-Lome is a professional rugby player who has represented both Southland and Getxo Artea in the Mitre 10 Cup. Morris-Lome made his debut for Southland during the 2016 season, and went on to play 18 games for the team before moving to Otago in 2018. 

In total, Morris-Lome has scored 25 points while playing for Getxo Artea and Southland combined. The 31 year old is currently contracted to New England Free Jacks until 2021, but it's unclear if he will still be involved with the side at that point due to injury concerns.

Overall, Aleki Morris-Lome has had a successful senior career which includes winning promotion with both of his teams, as well as making an impact on the international stage.

33. Deion Mikesell

Deion Mikesell is a rugby union player who has been playing professionally since 2020. Deion started his rugby career at South East Polk High School before going on to play for Lindenwood University, Houston Sabercats and New England Free Jacks in the USA.

In 2018 he was part of the Clermont Auvergne side that won the European Rugby Challenge Cup, and currently plays for US Carcassonne in France's Top 14 competition. Deion is an imposing winger with good ball-carrying ability, and has been praised by coaches for his skill set both inside and outside of the scrum zone.

He is also known for being a hard worker off the field – regularly attending charity events as well as contributing to local community programmes - which sets him apart from many other professional athletes Deion Mikesell is a professional American football wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).

He played college football at Clemson. After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Mikesell signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. In September 2017, he was waived by San Francisco and signed to the practice squad two days later. 

On December 16, 2017, Mikesell was promoted to the active roster after Torrey Smith was placed on injured reserve.

In Week 14 of the 2018 season against the Washington Redskins, Mikesells first career touchdown reception came in overtime on a 30-yard pass from Carson Wentz during their 44–33 victory. 

On December 23rd against Dallas Cowboys he recorded his second touchdown reception of his career when he caught a one handed 6 yard TD pass from quarterback Nick Foles in their 31-24 victory.

34. Conor Keys

Conor Keys Career

  • 2017-2019: Rotherham Titans
  • 2020: Rugby ATL
  • 2016: The Rock
  • 2016: Canada

Conor Keys was born on 9 July 1996 in Stittsville, Ontario. He attended college at the University of Toronto and played rugby union for their varsity team.

Conor made his professional debut with Rugby ATL during the 2017-2018 season and has since appeared in 12 games for them, scoring 2 tries. Conor is currently a member of Canada's U20 side and will be looking to make an impact at the senior level in future years.

Conor Keys is a Canadian rugby union player who currently plays for Rotherham Titans in the English Premiership. Conor was born and raised in Burlington, Ontario, Canada before moving to England to play professional rugby. 

At just 20 years old, Conor has already made an impact on the Premiership stage with his explosive running and dangerous kicking skills.

In 2018-19, Conor helped Rotherham reach the play-offs where they narrowly lost to Saracens Rugby Club on aggregate scoreline (29 - 27). 

The versatile back also featured for Canada at both under 19s and 21s level during his career thus far and has now been called up by Head Coach John Tait for their upcoming tour of South Africa 2019 as part of the Americas Rugby Championship squad.

35. Cole Keith

Cole Keith Career

  • 2019: Toronto Arrows
  • 2017−2018: Atlantic Rock
  • 2017: Canada U20
  • 2017: Canada A
  • 2017: Canada

Cole Keith is a prop for the Toronto Arrows and was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He made his debut with the Arrows in 2019 and has played 30 games so far this season.

Cole Keith has been playing rugby union since he was just seven years old and has amassed over 100 caps for his country to date. 

His hard work and determination have seen him achieve great things both on and off the pitch, with many predicting big things from him in future seasons Cole Keith is a professional soccer player who plays for Atlantic Rock in the Canadian Premier League.

He was born on December 12, 1994, in Victoria, Canada, and played youth soccer with local clubs before signing his first pro contract with USL side Orange County Blues in 2016. 

In 2018, he signed with Atlantic Rock and helped them reach the playoffs that year as well as win their first-ever CPL title in 2019. Keith has represented Canada at the U20 level but is yet to make an appearance for the senior team.

Final Words

. . . New England Free Jacks have had some of the best players in the world play for them. From All Blacks legends, such as Dan Carter and Conrad Smith to current stars like Beauden Barrett and Owen Franks, they have always been a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field.

Photo of author

John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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