The New England Free Jacks signed John Poland for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 22-year-old scrumhalf is 5’7″ and 170lbs.
John is from Ballinora, County Cork, Ireland. He played rugby with Sundays Well, the club where his father played and then attended Presentation Brothers College. At PBC he captained the rugby team in the Munster School Rugby Senior Cup. Initially, he played flyhalf and center but later switched to scrumhalf.
John played for the Ireland Under-19s and the Under-20s, the latter in the 2016 Six Nationals U20s Championship. He also earned Man of the Match honors in the 2016 Six Nations U20s opening clash with Wales.
In 2015 he joined the Munster Sub-Academy and also began playing club rugby with Cork Constitution through 2017 in the All-Ireland Division 1A. While there, he helped the team win the All-Ireland 2016-17 Championship and the All Ireland U20s League, as well as winning the Bateman Cup and Munster Senior Cup in both 2015/16 and in 2016/17.
In 2017 he moved to University College Cork where he played in the All Ireland Division 1B, winning the Championship in 2017/18. He also played in 2019 for the Irish Club XV against Scotland.
John played for Munster A in the British & Irish Cup, while winning the cup in 2016-17. He made his debut for Munster PRO14 side against Zebre on 10 February, 2018.
Following his graduation in October from UCC with a BSc in Finance, he will join the New England Free Jacks for the 2020 MLR season.