The Seattle Seawolves face the New England Free Jacks on Saturday, February 29 at Starfire Sports Complex. Kickoff is at 9 pm ET and the match will be broadcast on FoxSports2, streamed on ESPN+ and for international viewers, available on Major League Rugby Facebook Live.
The New England Free Jacks are 1-2 after splitting two MLR Vegas Weekend matches, beating Rugby United New York and losing to the Utah Warriors. They then lost to the Western Conference leaders, San Diego Legion.
Seattle Seawolves Head Coach Kees Lensing has made four changes in his starters with Tim Metcher at tighthead prop, Ben Cima being cleared to play at flyhalf, newly re-signed Peter Tiberio returning at the wing from his announced retirement, and David Busby at the outside center. John Hayden also returns to the matchday squad as a reserve.
The Seawolves are in uncharted territory after beginning the season with three close losses. Injuries have mounted early in the season and have made it difficult to maintain the consistency of past years. The Seawolves are in a position to alter their situation this week and with a win, they will be in contention to move up the Western Conference standings.
Right now, the San Diego Legion is undefeated in the Western Conference, but the remaining five teams appear to be equally matched. That could also change with the team returning to health.
New England Free Jacks
Free Jacks Head Coach Josh Smith has made one change in the starters with brad Hemopo at flanker. In the reserves, Toulu Fahamokioa, who was a late minute scratch last week is a loosehead prop, Ronan McCusker, Owen Hundt, and Erik Thompson return to the matchday 23 at lock, Flanker, and scrumhalf, respectively
Seattle Seawolves & New England Free Jacks Squads
Seattle Seawolves: 1 Djustice Sears-Duru 2 Stephan Coetzee 3 Tim Metcher 4 Jeremy Lenaerts 5 Brad Tucker 6 Eric Duechle 7 Nakai Penny 8 Riekert Hattingh (C) 9 JP Smith 10 Ben Cima 11 Peter Tiberio 12 Shalom Suniula (VC) 13 David Busby14 Sitiveni Tamaivena 15 Mat Turner 16 Mike Shepherd 17 Kellen Gordon 18 John Hayden19 Taylor Krumrei 20 Vili Toluta’u 21 Brock Staller 22 George Barton23 Joey Iosefo
New England Free Jacks: 1 Simon Courcoul 2 Sean McNulty 3 Donald Brighouse 4 Josh Larsen 5 Conor Kindregan 6 Brad Hemopo 7 Zack Stryffeler 8 Naulia Dawai 9 John Poland10 Timothée Guillimin 11 Deion Mikesell 12 Sam Beard 13 Poasa Waqanibau 14 Danny Collins 15 Mitch Wilson 16 Steve Hinshaw 17 Tolu Fahamokioa 18 Quentin Newcomer 19 Ronan McCusker 20 Owen Hundt 21 Erik Thompson 22 Peceli Rinakama 23 Oliver Engelhart