New England Free Jacks Announce 2024 Assistant Coach, Pom Simona
The Super Rugby Defense specialist will bring the ‘spark’ to Veterans Memorial Stadium
Quincy, MA – New England Free Jacks (Major League Rugby) announced Friday that Pom Simona has been named the team’s new Assistant Coach in place of the departing Mike Rogers. Simona joins one of the premier teams in MLR with the Free Jacks where he will join Head Coach Scott Mathie’s coaching group as they look to secure their second MLR championship.
“We are stoked to welcome a coach and bloke of Pom’s caliber,” commented General Manager, Tom Kindley. “Pom’s biggest strength is his ability to connect with players and staff, which is a critical trait for us at the Free Jacks. We look forward to seeing his innovative ideas and spirit come alive when imparted to our team and pathway.”
Born in Samoa, Simona moved at a young age to Auckland, New Zealand where he would become a formidable back row player with the Ponsonby Rugby Football club and Auckland representative system. Pom then moved to Melbourne where he would eventually trade his playing career for coaching. Pom has spent 8 years with the Melbourne Rebels organization, working with internationally recognized coaches and gaining head coaching experience with the affiliated Rebels A and Melbourne Rising pathway sides along the way.
Simona arrives at the Free Jacks having most recently held the role of defense coach during the 2022/3 Super Rugby Pacific season. The defense specialist put Super Rugby on watch, transforming the Rebels defense with his mixed martial arts expertise and defensive strategy expertise to lead the competition in tackle turnovers won, second only in total turnovers to the Hurricanes.
Pom is an expert in player development, evidenced by the five players who have progressed from his 2019 Melbourne Rising side to feature at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. While coaching the Melbourne Rebels U20’s Pom also had 9 Melbourne players selected for the Junior Wallabies, the highest ever representation from Melbourne.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to be a part of the Free Jacks organization and the burgeoning tradition created by all the players and coaches,” Simona said. “I want to thank Alex Magleby and Tom Kindley for their belief in me. I can’t wait to get to work in Quincy and meet up with the team.”
The Free Jacks will look forward to welcoming Pom, his wife and two daughters to Boston in the New Year.
The Free Jacks’ rise in Major League Rugby was on display at the end of the 2023 season as the team won its first ever Major League Rugby Championship in front of an audience of thousands at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago and live on FOX Sports and The Rugby Network.
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.