2020 standout, Liam Steel returns for 2021 Season of Major League Rugby
BOSTON – October 29, 2020 – The New England Free Jacks are thrilled to announce the return of Kiwi midfielder Liam Steel for the 2021 MLR Season. The 29 year-old, 6’0”, 205lb veteran is looking to make his mark on the pitch yet again after a stellar 2020 MLR campaign.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my first crusade with the Free Jacks in 2020,” commented Steel. “We have a great mix of guys and I’m really excited by the trajectory we are taking. I feel like I have a lot to bring to the table between my experience and desire to get back out there, and having barely got my feet wet this past year I’m ready to return for the ride in 2021!”
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Steel graduated from Saint Kentigern’s High School before enrolling at the University of Auckland, where he graduated in 2014 with a degree in Communications & Media, Criminology. Steel was a consistent selection for New Zealand Universities Squads throughout his university career.
After graduating in 2015, Steel was selected for the All Blacks Sevens Development Team for the Noosa International Sevens Tournament. In 2016, Steel returned to the 15-man game, making his professional debut for the blue and white hoops of Auckland in New Zealand’s premier domestic competition, the Mitre 10 Cup. The following year, Steel moved to Bay of Plenty, making his debut for the Steamers in the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup. After an excellent 2018 Mitre 10 Cup, Steel Was named the 2018 Bay of Plenty Steamers Back of the Year. Throughout this time, Steel also spent time with the Blues and Chiefs Super rugby training squads.
In 2019, Steel made the jump stateside to Major League Rugby and signed with the Free Jacks where he had an immediate impact in the inaugural 2020 MLR season. Scoring arguably the try of the season on his Free Jacks debut against Rugby United New York, Steel backed that up with another quality performance the next week against the Utah Warriors, dominating the midfield with 10 tackles at a 100% tackle success rate. After missing two games due to an injury incurred against Utah, Steel came roaring back in the Free Jacks’ final match against NOLA Gold, scoring a crucial try and making another monstrous 10 tackles.
“Liam has proved a great addition to the Free Jacks,” commented Free Jacks Performance Manager, Tom Kindley. “A slippery ball carrier with an innate ability to find a seam, Liam is a loveable character within the side, and the kind of player who leaves it all out there week in week out. Liam provides important maturity and experience to our midfield where he reads and narrates the game well. Liam also gives us versatility with his ability to use his pace on either wing. We look forward to seeing more scithing carries and momentum-killing tackles from Steelo in 2021.
Free Jacks fans should get ready for yet another influential year from Steel, who, after finishing the 2020 MLR Season with a 97% tackle success rate and showing his scintillating talents on attack, is ready to lead the Free Jacks’ from the front once again in 2021.
Join Liam and the Free Jacks for a virtual Town Hall “News and Brews,” on November 12. Grab a Free Jacks IPA, 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