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Height: 6’2” ー Weight: 245 lbs. ー East London, South Africa
Free Jacks have added experienced and powerful loose forward Lubabalo (‘Tera’) Mtembu to the playing roster for the 2021 season in Major League Rugby. Tera will join the Free Jacks on a three year contract from the Sharks Super Rugby and Currie Cup teams, where he captained the Super Rugby side in 2016 and 2017 and led the Currie Cup Campaigns in 2014 and 2019.
The move to the Free Jacks will be Mtembu’s first professional team change since joining the Sharks out of High School. At 29, Mtembu has amassed 47 Super Rugby appearances and 45 Currie Cup caps.
Mtembu also appeared for the 2010 South African U20 team, representing his home nation in all four test matches. Mtembu went on to play for the South African National Sevens side in 2010 and 2011 before making the move to the 15-a-side code with the Sharks.
Tera joins a robust group of New England loose forwards and his impressive on-field performance at the Sharks will make him an immediate and demonstrable force in the high-flying Major League Rugby competition. In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Tera averaged a 95% tackle success rate. Strong carries and effective breakdown skills make Tera an excellent addition to an exciting, try-centric New England team full of power and pace.
In addition to his on-field commitments, Tera is passionate about helping develop rugby in New England. As his charity of choice, Tera will support the nascent Free Jacks Foundation in its mission to make a difference in the next generation of New England rugby players and instill the values familiar to the game. Tera will assist in the academy programs and work with players and coaches alike to grow the game of rugby in the region.