Highlanders and Otago Rugby Center signs with the Free Jacks through the 2022 season
BOSTON — September 1 2020 — The Free Jacks are thrilled to announce the signing of 26 year old Aleki Morris-Lome, to the playing roster for the 2021 and 2022 seasons of Major League Rugby. Morris-Lome will join the Free Jacks from Super Rugby’s Highlanders and Mitre 10 Cup’s Otago Rugby. The 210lb, 5’11” midfielder joins the Free Jacks on a two year contract.
“I’m super excited to get over to New England and join the team,” said a visibly excited Aleki Morris. “Looking forward to linking up with coach Ryan again, and working with the members of the awesome squad they’ve put together. I can’t wait to do my best to contribute to the Free Jacks and New England rugby community.”
Morris-Lome began his professional career with the Southland Stags in the 2017 season of the Mitre 10 Cup. Over the course of two seasons with the Stags, Morris made 17 appearances for the Mitre 10 outfit. In 2019, Morris-Lome returned to his hometown of Dunedin when he signed for Otago for the 2019 season of the Mitre 10 Cup, fulfilling his childhood dream.
The 2019 season proved to be a breakthrough year for the Dunedin product, starting in 11 matches and scoring five tries. The powerful yet skilled back is equally comfortable at 12 and 13 and capable of dancing through tackles and nullifying opposition attacks. Morris-Lome formed a formidable partnership distributing to dynamic duo Vilimoni Koroi and Jona Nareki on either wing, with his outstanding year of performances earning his selection to the Highlanders Super Rugby squad for the 2019/20 Season.
“Aleki is a super electric midfield back who possesses the ability to tear opposition defenses apart with his fend-speed combo,” commented Ryan Martin, Free Jacks Head Coach. “He is a brutal defender who loves big contacts and reads the game incredibly well. Leks has had to work hard to get to where he is and I look forward to seeing him impart his talents and knowledge among the squad in New England.”
Morris-Lome has strong ties with the Free Jacks new Head Coach Ryan Martin. Aleki was one of the leaders of Martin’s 2012 Otago Boys’ High School side that competed in the New Zealand Secondary School Final against Auckland powerhouse, St Kentigern’s High School. Morris-Lome scored a jaw-dropping 35 tries during the season earning his selection to the New Zealand School’s Barbarians.
Outside of rugby, Morris-Lome has completed a building apprenticeship and like his Head Coach counterpart, loves to surf.
Join Aleki and the Free Jacks for a virtual meet and greet, “News and Brews,” on Thursday, September 10th. Grab a Free Jacks IPA and join the virtual gathering and get to know the newest Free Jacks and the returning players. RSVP using the link here: https://www.freejacks.com/news-and-brews/.
About The 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