Free Jacks take on Dallas Jackals in 2024 Preseason Development Match
Ben LeSage Featured in Graphic
On January 22, the 2024 Free Jacks Pre-Season officially began. After the most successful year in the organization’s history, taking home the Eastern Conference and Major League Rugby Championship, the Free Jacks coaching staff were eager to get back to the grindstone. The nucleus of the 2023 championship team returns this season, as the Free Jacks continue their history of high player retention.
“Our staff worked hard this off-season to prepare a challenging and engaging preseason where we could connect as a team off the field and extend ourselves on the field. The playing group have grasped the challenge with both hands, and are excited to see the fruits of their labor.” – Tom Kindley, General Manager (GM)
The Free Jacks will end the preseason with a preseason scrimmage against the Dallas Jackals in Houston on Friday, February 23. That same weekend, NOLA Gold and Houston Sabercats will clash to complete a double header at the Sabercats Stadium.
“We’ve had a really successful preseason, both from a physical standpoint and a cultural one,” said Head Coach, Scott Mathie. “It has been great to see our new players assimilate into the environment and connect with our returning squad members. Now we are excited to get to Houston to continue the growth and connection of our squad off the field while also getting to see some new combinations in action on the field.”
“Player and staff retention has been really high this year and it’s allowed for a seamless transition from last season. That cohesion has allowed us to confidently build on the championship platform established in 2023, and this preseason trip to Houston is the first opportunity we get to share in it as a squad for 2024. We are excited to create new memories, but we are not looking further than our first game against the Anthem on the 2nd of March.” – Scott Mathie, Head Coach
For new coach, Pom Simona, it will be his first taste of Major League Rugby matchplay.
“This is a great opportunity for our players, but it’s also really exciting for our coaching staff as we welcome Pom Simona to the assistant coach position. We are relishing the opportunity to get out to Houston with our primary focus being on allowing players to accumulate the necessary minutes on the field and implementing the key principles we have worked so hard on in preseason. Preseason matches are great for learning and developing and we intend to use this match as an opportunity to get as much growth out of it as possible.” – Tom Kindley, General Manager
Free Jacks head to Texas for four days of training that culminates in a preseason fixture against the Dallas Jackals. The game will consist of four twenty minute quarters, a format that is designed to allow coaches the maximum opportunity to test players, strategy and partnerships. The squad will be a much wider selection than a regular in season match. Free Jacks will rotate over 30 players,
“Giving as many players as we can as much meaningful game time as possible,” said General Manager, Tom Kindley.
The Jackals will be entering the preseason game against the Free Jacks with a little more match experience than the Free Jacks as they take on NOLA Gold on Saturday, February 17th.
“The aim of preseason trial matches, and pre-season in general, is to prepare the squad for a long 16-game regular season, plus playoffs,” explained Tom Kindley. “The players are raring for the opportunity to put four strenuous weeks of preseason training and connection to the test and get a gauge on where we are in our development.”
Free Jack’s first regular season match will take place in Charlotte, NC, against the newest team in Major League Rugby, Anthem R.C. That will be shortly followed by the Free Jacks season home opener on Saturday, March 9th, at 2pm, at Veterans Memorial Stadium where they meet 2023 Eastern Conference Final rivals Old Glory D.C.
For tickets and more information about the Free Jacks Home opener click here.
If you intend to join the Free Jacks at the preseason game in Texas you can access discounted tickets here.
All of the sections of the stadium, including discounted rates for the Wing West and East Sideline sections, have been made available. This ticket works for both preseason games:
Dallas Jackals vs New England Free Jacks – Feb 23 at 7pm local time (8pm ET)
Houston SaberCats vs NOLA Gold – Feb 24 at 3pm (4pm ET)
- Wing West has a price decrease from $40 to $25 each.
- East Sideline has a price decrease from $40 to $20 each.
The preseason game will not be broadcast, but will be streamed live from the Sabercats Youtube channel.
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