Irish/American Lock Ronan McCusker Returns to the Free Jacks
The 6’6 Lock to Returns to New England for the 2021 Season
BOSTON – September 11, 2020 – The New England Free Jacks are pleased to announce the return of 23-year-old lock Ronan McCusker for the 2021 Major League Rugby Season. The 6’6, 255lb workhorse has been with the New England franchise since October, 2018 in the Free Jacks first ever match against the Ontario Arrows.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling coming back to Boston for a third year,” said McCusker. “Being with the team since the beginning and seeing how far we have come gives me great pride. The team off the pitch have worked extremely hard to create something special here in New England and the management staff have worked around the clock to bring world class players to Boston. I can’t wait to do my bit for the team and get the job done in 2021.”
A dual citizen born in Belfast, Northern Ireland to an American mother and Irish father, McCusker holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Ulster in Belfast, and has plied his trade with Rainey Old Boys Rugby Football Club since he was 16 years old. McCusker made his Rainey 1st XV debut at 18 years old, served as Vice-Captain as a 21-year old during squad’s 2018 campaign, and was most recently named Club Captain for the 2020 All-Ireland Division 2 season.
“Ronan has had quite the journey to date,” commented Performance Manager, Tom Kindley. “The experience of our exhibition season, paired with that of his loan to Austin in 2019 and our inaugural season this year has proven invaluable for the young lock. His selection to the Eagles wider interest group is indicative of the potential he has to progress right through to the International level when you combine his massive frame with his desire to develop.”
McCusker’s strong performances with Rainey earned him selection to Ulster’s age-grade sides, first representing his province at the Under-17 and continuing through the Under-20’s at the annual Inter-Provincial Championship.
McCusker moved to Boston in 2018, where he began playing for Mystic River and later joined the Free Jacks for the Cara Cup campaign – lining up against many of his former Ulster provincial teammates. His powerful ball carrying ability and set-piece proficiency saw the Ulster-man earn a loan to Austin Elite for the remainder of the 2019 MLR Season.
Recently added to the USA Eagles wider interest group, expect McCusker to expand his game and make a powerful impression on the MLR and National selectors in his third season Free Jacks.
Join Ronan and the Free Jacks for a virtual meet and greet, “News and Brews,” on October 15. 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://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