by | May 29, 2024 | Blog, Featured News, News | 0 comments


The New England Free Jacks are excited to announce the signings of scrumhalf Oscar Lennon, flanker Jed Melvin, and winger Toby Fricker. With the Major League Rugby postseason around the corner, the Free Jacks look to bolster their squad’s depth with these highly touted new additions. 

Oscar Lennon will arrive in Quincy after playing in the English Premiership with Bristol Bears. The native of Llanrwst, Wales impressed Coach Pat Lam during his loan spell in Bristol and secured a professional contract with the Bears. Lennon debuted in the English Premiership during the West Country derby versus Bath at The Rec and scored in his final game at the club against Union Bordeaux-Bègles in the European Rugby Champions Cup

Image featuring: Oscar Lennon, While playing for the Bristol Bears

Turning up to training every day and being in the same team as the likes of Semi Radradra, Charles Piutau, and Steven Luatua was a massive inspiration,” recalls the 23-year-old scrumhalf. “They truly are world-class players so you only had to watch how they operated and articulated the game and then try and transfer that into your own game.”

Previously playing at the rugby powerhouse of Hartpury University RFC in Gloucestershire, England, Lennon showcased world-class passing abilities, game management, and decision-making, all essential functions of a brilliant number nine. Hartpury was promoted to the Greene King IPA Championship which sits just below the English Premiership in the RFU’s league system.

“Throughout my time at Hartpury, I was driven by the success of past players and the legacy they left was huge,” says Lennon. “Players like Ellis Genge, Ross Moriarty, Harry Randall, and Jonny May all came through the same pathway which inspired me massively. The setup at Hartpury is world-class in terms of nurturing player development from the college up to the Championship team.”

Image featuring: Oscar Lennon, playing for Hartpury University RFC

The Welshman is qualified to represent the United States through his father who was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Lennon will add to the Free Jacks’ scrumhalf depth with the team set on the MLR playoffs and bringing home another championship to New England. As Oscar puts it, “I will look to align my vision and game sense with my skill set and a hunger to attack to help the Free Jacks push for back-to-back MLR titles.”

Lennon’s former teammate from Bristol, Toby Fricker is also on his way to New England. Shortly after a stint at Dragons RFC, Fricker signed and debuted with Bristol during the 2019 Premiership Rugby Cup and scored his first points for the club in the European Challenge Cup versus Italy’s Zebre Parma. The 28-year-old remained a staunch facet of the Bears’ attack until he returned to Wales to play for Ospreys, the Swansea-based United Rugby Championship side.

Image featuring: Toby Fricker, Playing for Bristol Bears

Over four seasons, Fricker played 1,879 minutes for Bristol and recorded 60 points. During the 2021/22 English Premiership campaign, the London-raised, US & Welsh-qualified winger started in 10 rounds for the Bears and dotted down eight tries. Fricker scored the game-winning, bonus-point brace in a close match versus a tough Gloucester side featuring current Kansas City Chiefs’ running back and former Wales international, Louis Rees-Zammit.

Earlier this month, Head Coach Scott Lawrence named Fricker to the USA Men’s Eagles’ Extended Player Squad. Fricker qualifies for US eligibility through his mother who was born in New Orleans. The winger looks to win his first cap in the Eagles’ American Series tour featuring matches in July against Romania in Chicago and Scotland in Washington DC.

Fricker also represented Ebbw Vale RFC, Wales Sevens, and was invited to play for the fabled Barbarians FC la August versus Samoa. Looking back at his time with the Barbarians, Fricker emphasizes, “I was lucky enough to play with such a great group of people and represent such a special team. It was an incredible week and a dream come true.”

Image featuring: Toby Fricker, playing for Barbarians FC

Toby Fricker is the definition of a danger man amongst the Free Jacks’ versatile outside backs. He holds an unbelievably strong work ethic with speed that kills, not to mention his natural vision of the game matched with creativity on the pitch. “I always want to improve and put my best foot forward, and I’ve been taught that from an early age,” states Fricker. 

With the postseason only five weeks away, Fricker’s main goal “is to contribute in every way possible to the success of the club.” From his perspective, “It’s always important to get immersed in a team’s culture so I’m excited to meet everyone and represent the Free Jacks.” Most of all, he looks forward to playing with a new group of people in a great city.

And last but certainly not least, Kiwi flanker Jed Melvin is joining New England to strengthen the Free Jacks’ vicious back row. Melvin was a stand-out rugby player and head boy at Orewa College in Auckland. Following graduation, he continued his player pathway at East Coast Bays RFC, playing for their Premier side. 

Image featuring: Jed Melvin playing for North Harbour Rugby. 

Raising the eyebrows of regional scouts with his physicality and leadership on the pitch, Melvin was selected to play for the Blues A Team. Subsequently, he played for North Harbour in the National Provisional Championship (NPC) in 2022. 

The Auckland man will join his former North Harbour teammate Danyon Morgan-Puterangi in Quincy for the remainder of the 2024 season. “It’s awesome seeing some familiar faces in the team from New Zealand and the style of play that they bring,” states the flanker. Melvin believes “having this shared background will hopefully help me have a smoother transition into the team’s game plans and policies.”

Melvin started every round of North Harbour’s 2023 NPC regular season. As seen in this try-scoring highlight on Instagram, the explosive openside flanker receives a quick pop pass from Morgan-Puterangi and sprints up the left wing, bulldozing a Manawatu defender and outpacing the opposing scrumhalf, future teammate John Poland. 

“I love the physicality and contact aspect of the game, both on attack and defense. A big goal of mine is to win those contact collisions to bring energy and momentum to our side,” says Melvin.

Image featuring: Jed Melvin playing for North Harbour Rugby. 

Jed Melvin’s energy and momentum will be much needed in the closing weeks of the MLR regular season and the upcoming playoffs. With season-ending injuries to back row players Jaco Bezuidenhout and Wian Conradie, Melvin’s arrival is timely. 

Awaiting his arrival to Quincy, Melvin says “I’m very excited about the opportunity to be involved in a full-time professional rugby environment which has been a big dream of mine.” With the Free Jacks at the top of the Eastern Conference, the team is positioned well for a huge playoff push. With the challenge at bay, Jed Melvin is “excited to be a part of such a competitive team and have the chance to contribute towards the goal of winning the league this year.”

Melvin has arrived in Boston, with Lennon and Fricker finalizing visa processing before their arrival in the near future. 

After two long road trips to San Diego and Miami, the Free Jacks return to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy on June 2 to face the Dallas Jackals. Before the match, party it up like it’s the last day of summer camp with performances by The Great Escape and Booty Vortex at the Camp Free Jack festival! And make sure to try some refreshing sparkling apple ciders upon your arrival at How’d You Like Them Apples – Cider & Seltzer Fest!

Kick-off starts at 2 p.m. so get to Fort Quincy early to enjoy the full day of festivities. Buy your tickets here! The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Boston and The Rugby Network.

For more opportunities to engage with the Free Jacks community, stay updated on future Free Jacks matches, festivals, and announcements through the Free Jacks’ news page:

Written By:

Colin Elliott

Staff Writer, Intern, @ New England Free Jacks

Tickets & Sales

Have questions about purchasing tickets, locations, or group opportunities? Send our sales & ticketing teams your questions.


General Questions

Have questions about the league? Do you have ways we could make your experiecne better? Fell free to drop us a note.


Partnerships & Sponsorships

Are you a company looking to create a releationship with the Free Jacks? Connect with our Business Development Team.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop