QUINCY, MA – September 7, 2022 – The New England Free Jacks are excited to announce initial coaching and management appointments for the Quincy, MA, based Major League Rugby (MLR) outfit. Headed by Free Jacks Head Coach, Scott Mathie, and newly appointed General Manager, Tom Kindley, the Free Jacks are excited to prepare for MLR 2023 with key appointments across the high-performance spectrum, and establish a world-class management team to take on the season ahead.
“It has been awesome to live this journey in different capacities over the past 5 years and play a small role in its progress,” said Free Jacks appointed General Manager, Tom Kindley. “ A nod to past management who have played critical roles in our development, and a thank you to our ownership group for their backing and vision. Moving to the city of Quincy, purpose built team facilities and Veterans Memorial Stadium have professionalized our operation significantly.”
“In MLR it’s unheard of to maintain a full management team year-to-year. Being able to maintain and build on the quality staffing group from the 2022 season will ensure continuity within the program, facilitate development across the team and instill confidence in our playing group and fanbase. I am grateful to step into the GM role and lead an outstanding staffing group that will continue to work hard to evolve and put the best product possible forward for our players.”
The Free Jacks coaching team will be led by returning MLR coach of the year, Scott Mathie, and growth-minded practitioner, Mike Rogers. This dynamic and complementary coaching duo will continue to develop the young and diverse talent assembled in Quincy, MA, and further extend the pathways to the professional game in New England with coaching opportunities at the Junior Jacks and Independents levels. Mathie and Rogers will look to build on their inaugural success in MLR, having achieved the most wins in an MLR season (13), the most consecutive wins in the competition (10), and a league topping 13/3 regular season finish.
Known as the ‘giant killer’, Mathie joined the Free Jacks ahead of the 2022 campaign having enjoyed a successful tenure with the Griquas in South Africa’s Currie Cup and SuperSport Rugby Challenge. A development focused coach at the cutting edge of the modern game, Mathie brings an understanding of the qualities of successful high-performance environments to the role from his experience as a top-level scrumhalf across South Africa and the English Premiership. Mathie will look forward to returning with his wife Leigh and son Jackson as they embark on a second season in Quincy, MA, and build on the successes of 2022.
Assistant coach Mike Rogers will continue to complement Mathie’s combative and exciting playing structure with his holistic approach to player development, infectious belief in a positive culture, and aptitude for developing work ethic. Evident in the success of the 2022 side and by the unrelenting style of defense that became the mark of Free Jacks matches, Rogers’ DNA was quickly stitched into the Free Jacks. Rogers had a significant portfolio in 2022, managing defense and set piece effectively, as well as driving an embracing and positive environment for players of every background to succeed. The Free Jacks look forward to welcoming Mike, his partner Nicky, and children Carter, Millie, and Frankie back to New England ahead of the 2023 MLR season.
The Free Jacks high performance environment is completed by key management roles across player wellness, strength and conditioning, and performance analytics to establish a first-rate compliment. Mike Buonopane, Head of Medical, and Adam Thomas, Assistant PT/AT, will oversee player medical and wellness and ensure the on and off field health of the Free Jacks.
In addition to treatment resources, Free Jacks athletes will have access to the highest level of expertise for strength and conditioning with Ewan Brumwell, Head of S&C. Brumwell brings a wealth of experience to the role having led rugby specific training at the NPC and Super Rugby level. Brumwell will continue to set key standards at the professional level and bolster the strength and conditioning IP in the game across New England through Free Jacks academy programming.
Maintaining excellence at the performance level, the Free Jacks have resourced the analytics and logistics positions with Colton Bennett, Performance Analyst trainee, and Javier Martin, Team Manager.
“Our players, supporters, coaches, and staff are building something exceptional and unique here in New England. This leadership team we have announced today bring the belief, talent, and unique skills to what is becoming a special environment, not only for our players, but for the rugby community en-large across New England to learn from and enjoy,” said co-founder and CEO, Alex Magleby. “Not only does this staff come together with expertise at the highest level of their fields, they also share a positivity, determination and contagious resolve to do good for our burgeoning community. On behalf of Free Jacks everywhere, we welcome this team and their families to New England and look forward to the on and off field successes they will have together over the course of the season.”
In addition to their roles as coaches of the professional team, Mathie and Rogers and the management team are committed to continuing to assist in the development of rugby at various levels in New England. The Free Jacks high performance resources will be available to athletes competing with the Junior Jacks and Independents teams as well as made available to players and athletes across New England. The Free Jacks are looking forward to working with players and coaches in the Free Jacks Academy, Regional Training Groups, and learn-to-play initiatives to foster the development of young players and expand access to the sport across the region.
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