Winger, Deion Mikesell, and Loose Forward, Zack Stryffeler, will Join the Squad This Week to Complement the Team

Boston, MA – The Free Jacks today announced the signing of emerging USA international winger, Deion Mikesell, and back row veteran, Zack Stryfeller, for the team’s inaugural season in Major League Rugby. The pair provide the Free Jacks playing roster with additional Major League Rugby experience. Deion joins from the Houston Sabercats, while Zack travels north from NOLA Gold.

Deion Mikesell is one of USA’s most promising and explosive outside backs. Deion excelled on the field at Lindenwood University in both 7s and 15s. He helped drive the team to both National 7s and Collegiate Rugby Championship titles in 2018 and earned multiple All-American caps throughout his collegiate career. Deion proved to be a standout player in the 2018 All-American historic win over MLR’s Glendale [Colorado] Raptors. Deion is USA Eagle #490, having made his debut for the US national team in 2016 against Uruguay. He amassed his second cap against Brazil the following year.

Zack Stryffeler joins the Free Jacks as one of the most experienced and proven back row forwards of the MLR to date. In the 2019 season Zack recorded a jaw dropping 232 tackles across all 16 games for the NOLA Gold, ranking 4th across the league. Zack found rugby in New South Wales, Australia, in 2010. Since then he has accumulated a rugby resume that includes positions with the Cleveland Rovers, Ohio Aviators, Tiger rugby, Atlantis, Cashel Rugby Club in the All Irish League and NOLA Gold.

“We are ecstatic to have Zack and Deion join what is already shaping up to be a well-rounded roster. Both men embody the values of what we believe a Free Jack stands for and we are looking forward to welcoming the pair to the team in the next few days,” commented head coach Josh Smith. “Zack brings a wise head and gold standard work rate to our back row, while Deion adds unrivaled firepower with ball in hand and a robust defensive game to the back three. Importantly, they are both visually excited to begin making the connections with the team and contribute to the growth of the Free Jacks as we head into the season.”

The pair will join the Free Jacks later this week when the team return from the first week of pre-season training in the woods of New Hampshire. We are looking forward to welcoming both Deion and Zack to New England.

Be sure to secure your Founding Member season tickets to catch the Free Jacks in their inaugural 2020 season in Major League Rugby while seats are still available. Details of season ticket packages can be found at


New England Free Jacks

The New England Free Jacks are greater Boston’s 1st Professional Rugby team representing all the greatness of the six New England states on and off the field. The Free Jacks were named the 9th member of Major League Rugby on September 20th and will compete in the 2020 MLR regular season.

For more information on the Free Jacks:

Oliver Engelhart


Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby (MLR) is a professional rugby league, launched in April 2018. It is an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels—as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.

For more information on Major League Rugby

Alicia Richardson

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