BOSTON — August 13 2020 — The New England Free Jacks retain 6’6”, 265lbs second-row, Jackson Thiebes, for the 2021 and 2022 seasons of Major League Rugby. Thiebes was a standout defensive enforcer, ball carrying option, and line-out threat during his first season in Major League Rugby and the Free Jacks are excited to see Thee-bis the bus back in action this coming year.
“I am very excited and fortunate for the opportunity to come back to New England and finish what we started in 2020,” commented Thiebes. “I’m looking forward to learning from Coach Martin and getting out on the field with the Free Jacks!”
Thiebes is a talented line-out operator and a physical menace in the loose. Famed in the Free Jack’s squad for his immense work ethic, Thiebes had a breakout showing in the Cara Cup, averaging 10 tackles and 8 carries (79% gainline) per game. Thiebes continued this impressive form in 2020 amassing a monstrous 45 tackles during his three Free Jacks starts, including a colossal 23 tackles against the Utah Warriors. Using his 6’6 frame to effect, Thiebes claimed 14 line-out takes in the abbreviated season. With a desire to learn and a drive to compete for National Team selection, Thiebes is eager to get back on the pitch with his Free Jacks teammates in 2021.
“We are excited to see the combined effect when Jackson’s work ethic and attention to detail meets the tutelage of our staffing group and experience of our playing group this coming year,” commented Tom Kindley, Free Jacks Performance Manager. “Relatively raw in the professional scene and having only played the game for six years, Jackson’s best years are ahead of him and it won’t be long until he is knocking on the doors of the selectors for the National Team.”
Jackson is an integral part of the Free Jacks, having been a key contributor since the first-ever fixture against the Ontario Arrows in October 2018. Jackson brings a point of difference in his physical stature and athletic dexterity, and when combined with his intellect, holds all the characteristics required to play at the highest level.
Born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Kalispell, Montana, Thiebes excelled on both the rugby and football fields during his high school years. His athleticism combined with his hulking frame made Thiebes a top competitor no matter what field or game he was playing. Thiebes went on to play football at University of Montana where he earned all-conference offensive tackle honors and tipped the scales at over 300lbs.
“The two sports complement each other,” added Jackson. “The decision making, leadership and tackling from rugby carried into my football game where I was able to pick up the athletic and explosiveness of the sport.”
Jackson graduated with a BA Psychology from the University of Montana and recently earned an MBA-Marketing degree from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. Representing Endicott at the NSCRO Men’s 15s All-Star Championship, Thiebes was selected to the All-Championship team and was named the Impact Player from the Northeast. Jackson found his way to Mystic River in Boston where he had a breakout season in the 2018 ARP cup series, before earning selection to the Free Jacks Exhibition Squad.
Thiebes starred throughout the Free Jacks’ 2018-2019 Exhibition Season, where his impressive performances in the Cara Cup earned Thiebes a loan to Rugby United New York (RUNY) for the remainder of the 2019 MLR Season. Thiebes continued his excellent form upon returning to the Free Jacks for the 2020 MLR Season, earning starts against Rugby United New York, the Utah Warriors, and the San Diego Legion before the season’s premature cancellation.
Join Jackson and the Free Jacks for a virtual meet and greet, “News and Brews,” tonight, Thursday, August 13th. Grab a Free Jacks IPA and join the virtual gathering and get to know the newest Free Jacks and the returning players. RSVP using the link here: https://www.freejacks.com/news-and-brews/.
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 www.FreeJacks.com