Free Jacks Head General Manager Tom Kindley Announces Rugby Staff For The 2024 Season
The team features a new Assistant Coach and features Eleven Returning Team Staff
Quincy, MA – 2023 Major League Rugby Champions, The England Free Jacks today announced the team’s 2024 Rugby Operations & Coaching Staff under General Manager Tom Kindley.
2022 MLR coach of the year Scott Mathie returns to head up a coaching group that includes returning Assistant Coach Will Webster and the recently announced Pom Simona. The well-balanced trifecta features equal parts South African, English and New Zealand-Samoan, each coach with unique experiences, perspectives, and ideas from different parts of the globe.
“It is a huge coup to have 11 of the 12 staff who were involved with the Championship winning 2023 season returning for 2024. We have massive cohesion as a management team and are excited to be reunited in Quincy. We will be looking closely at what we can improve, to take things to another level as a collective in 2024.”
The performance staff consists of George Petrakos (Head of Physical Performance) fresh from leading Italy’s 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign, and Ricci Persico (Assistant Physical Performance) who has recently been working as a physical performance coach with the Manawatu Turbos in New Zealand’s national provincial competition (NPC).
New Englander’s Michael Buonopane (Head of Medical), Adam Thomas (Assistant Physical Therapist) and Ryan Birchall (Assistant Physical Performance) return to round out a highly regarded medical team.
“A big step for us this year is the building out of exciting new internship programs which will provide more resources for our players and opportunities to develop staff for the future. George and Mike have been huge contributors in building out our infrastructure in this space.”
Also returning to Kindley’s staff are Javier Martin (Team Manager) and Canadian Colton Bennett (High Performance Analysis Trainee), the latter having also spent the off-season gaining experience with the Manawatu Turbos in the NPC.
“At the Free Jacks we pride ourselves on the level of care and development our players receive,” Kindley said. That level of care is testament to the quality people we have within our management, coaching, physical performance, medical, analysis and pathway departments.”
Enthusiastic New Zealander Thomas (Wheels) Grant (Community and Academy) continues to play a critical role in aligning senior team resources with club pathway efforts including the Independents, Junior Jacks, and Collegiate Independents.
“Vital to the club is the effort that goes into programs such as ‘Rugby in a Bag’ (The Free Jacks local schools rugby outreach initiative), our pathway system, and just being a good presence and contributor within our community. We are hugely grateful to have someone with Wheels’ skill set and energy in that role. He makes a real difference for us in the academy and community space, and aligns these efforts with our senior team players and staff well.
The Free Jacks kick off the Major League Rugby season in March 2024. Mathie, the 3rd Head Coach in franchise history, will be defending the organization’s first MLR title.
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.