Quincy, MA — November 9, 2022 — The New England Free Jacks are excited to announce the signing of Tongan International lock and back row Semisi Paea.

The 23-year-old of Tofoa, Tonga began playing rugby at Rotorua Boys High School. Paea has since played with Ngongotaha Rugby Club, New Zealand Barbarians and Bay of Plenty Steamers mens and U19, where he learned under the tutelage of Free Jacks Assistant Coach Mike Rogers. In 2021, he made his debut for the Tongan national men’s side during a World Cup Qualifier, and continued to tour with them for the Pacific Nations Cup. 

“Semisi Paea brings athleticism and power to our back five mix at the Free Jacks in 2023,” commented Mike Rogers, “Equally at home playing at lock and blindside flanker, Semisi is an excellent aerial player who also brings a high work-rate and physicality in his collision work. Semisi has represented Tonga at test level, Bay of Plenty at NPC level and most recently was awarded the most promising player award and World Rugby’s Pacific Combine. We are excited to welcome Semisi to the Free Jacks in 2023!”

“I am very excited for this upcoming season with the New England Free Jacks,” commented Paea. “I can’t wait to meet new people and rub shoulders with all the boys.”

Paea recently impressed at World Rugby’s 2022 Pacific Combine Program, resulting in a development player opportunity arising with Super RugbyMoana Pasifika in December before departing to join the New England Free Jacks

Semisi will add a point of difference in the Free Jacks pack with his aerial and collision game, fans should look forward to seeing this assassin in the North East.

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

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