Quincy, MA — October 6, 2022 — The New England Free Jacks are excited to announce the signing of Canadian prop Cole Keith.
Earning his first cap at only 19 years of age, Keith has become one of the most familiar faces in the Canadian Men’s National XV side, accumulating 25 caps at 25 years of age, as well as featuring at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Keith represented the Canada under-20s in 2017, graduating from the Atlantic Rock senior men’s provincial program, and played his grassroots rugby with the Belleisle Rovers. He was named Rugby Canada’s Young Player of the Year, Male in 2017.
Keith has also been a long-time fixture in the MLR, playing with the Toronto Arrows for 4 seasons and making 46 appearances. Keith has been a fan-favorite for the Arrows fans since joining the club for their inaugural 2019 Major League Rugby campaign. He took over as first choice tighthead prop the following season, but in 2021 moved across the front row to play loosehead for both the Arrows and Canada.
“It is a huge coup for the program to have an International of Cole’s quality added to the playing group,” commented Free Jacks General Manager Tom Kindley. “Cole is one of the best props in North America, adept in the scrum, and energetic around the field. Cole brings versatility, with his ability to play both sides of the scrum, though geared more towards loosehead lately. Cole is a player we see being really important to our squad’s continued development moving forward, and at only 25 there is still plenty of room for him to grow.”
“I’m really excited to build on the club’s strong culture and to get stuck in with the boys,” commented Keith. “Also a great new opportunity to join such a professional and well run club. My goals are to be respected by my peers and win an MLR championship.”
Originally from New Brunswick, Keith will ironically be closer to home despite making the move across the border. He played all 16 games for the Arrows in 2022, with 13 starts in the No. 1 jersey. Outside of rugby, Keith enjoys golfing, hiking, hockey, and playing guitar.
About New England Free Jacks: The Free Jacks are an aspiring and innovative live events, media, and consumer products organization. The core brand in the portfolio is The New England Free Jacks, the humble hard-working free-spirited professional rugby team competing in the emergent and exhilarating Major League Rugby (MLR), the premier North American professional rugby competition. For more information, please visit www.FreeJacks.com.
About Major League Rugby: Major League Rugby is a professional sports league, entering its fifth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available on The Rugby Network for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby