NEW ENGLAND FREE JACKS VS RUGBY ATL
New England Free Jacks (6-2) vs Rugby ATL (4-4)
When: Saturday, Apr 22, 2023 3pm EST
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy, MA
Watch: NBC Sports Boston, The Rugby Network
As the MLR season reaches its midpoint, the Free Jacks sit atop the Eastern Conference with a perfect in-conference record of 4-0 and a 6-2 overall record as they host conference rivals Atlanta at home this Saturday in what is sure to be a fiery encounter.
Coming off of a record-breaking win in Toronto, scoring a total of 80 points and conceding only 5, the Free Jacks will look to maintain their perfect record at home in Quincy this season in what should be a fierce battle against a physical Atlanta team.
The tight five that starred in Toronto will remain the same on Saturday, while flanker Slade McDowall, who made his first appearance of the season last week off the bench, will make his first start of the year. In the backs, Wayne Van der Bank and budding USA star Mitch Wilson are back at 13 and 14, respectively, after a brief hiatus. Kianu Kereru-Symes and Zach Bastres will be rostered on the bench after missing out on the 23 last week.
The Free Jacks will also look to maintain their perfect record against Eastern Conference teams so far this season against a tough Atlanta outfit.
Rugby ATL currently sits at third in the Eastern Conference, right behind New York, with a record of 4-4. They are coming off an impressive defensive display last week at New Orleans where they won 23-7.
Known for their physical forwards and tactical kicking, Atlanta has steadily improved throughout the 2023 season and heads on to Quincy with a two match win streak.
In the pack, hooker Alex Maughan is key to their set-piece and maul execution, and No. 8 Ross Deacon leads the team in ball carries. In the backs, look out for in-form players, Te Rangatira Waitokia and Rewita Biddle, both very dangerous and strong runners with ball in hand.
All time against Atlanta
New England Roster
Free Jacks Rugby Staff:
- Tom Kindley (General Manager)
- Scott Mathie (Head Coach)
- Mike Rogers (Assistant Coach)
- Will Webster (Assistant Coach)
- Javier Martin (Team Manager)
- George Petrakos (Head Physical Performance Coach)
- Ricci Persico (Assistant Physical Performance Coach)
- Colton Bennett (Analyst)
- Mike Buonopane (Head of Medical)
- Adam Thomas (Assistant AT/PT)