Promising University of Northern Colorado back touches down in New England

Boston, MA — December 3, 2021 — The Free Jacks are proud to sign versatile backline player Zachary Bastres to a one year, developmental contract. The 6’1, 200 lb University of Northern Colorado alum will look to prove his worth within the New England roster in his first year with the squad.

“I am extremely excited to get into this professional environment and help the Free Jacks win,” exclaimed Bastres when asked about the next chapter in his rugby career.

Going on 8 years of rugby experience, Bastres first started playing during his sophomore year At Monarch High School in Colorado. By the time he was a senior, Bastres was already helping his team win a D1 State Championship with his quickly progressing backline skills and athleticism.

Upon graduating high school, Bastres went on to play for the University of Northern Colorado Men’s Rugby Team. In 2019, Bastres was selected to the D2 Rocky Mountain All-Conference Team while also being named MVP at UNC multiple years of his college career. 

It was there that Zachary would develop his talents for 4 years before getting picked up by the Free Jacks in the MLR Collegiate Draft. Before joining the team, Bastres was selected to the USA Rugby High Performance Pathways camp in Glendale, Colorado. For nine weeks, Bastres would train with high-level athletes sharpening his skills and honing his craft leading into his time with New England.  

“We are excited to have Zach onboard as a development player in the 2022 season,” commented Free Jacks Performance Director, Tom Kindley. “He impressed within the pathway program with his application and readiness to learn. That feedback combined with his acceleration and top end speed has us excited to get Zach to a level where he’s competing in the MLR in the not too distant future.”

Bastres will be surrounded by a wealth of rugby expertise in the New England backline. As he looks to make his impact during this developmental year, there is no doubt Zachary will bring his drive and competitiveness to the Veterans Memorial pitch in the 2022 season.

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

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