The New England Free jacks re-signed Jackson Thiebes through the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old lock (27 in February) is 6’5″ and 265 lbs.
Jackson started the first three matches during the 2020 truncated MLR season. He played for the New England Free Jacks during the team’s the 2018-2019 exhibition season and was part of the Cara Cup squad. He was then loaned to Rugby United New York before returning to the Free Jacks to start against Lansdowne FC.
Jackson was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Kalispell, Montana. He attended Glacier High School, earning two varsity letters in football. Following his graduation, he attended Lewis & Clark College in 2012 and played football as a tight end, before transferring to the University of Montana. While at Montana from 2013-2017, he played football, rugby, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology.
Jackson has felt a need to contribute back to the community. He was a Big Brother in the Big Brothers of Sisters of America and also volunteered for the Habitat of Humanity International.
Following his graduation from Montana, he attended Endicott College for an MBA-Marketing. He also played rugby and helped the team gain the #1 NSCRO 2018 ranking. He participated in the NSCRO Men’s 15s All-Star Championship, was selected to the All-Championship team, and was named the Impact Player from the Northeast. Jackson was the first person from Endicott College to sign a professional sports contract.
Jackson also is a member of the Mystic River Rugby Club and helped the team to the USA Club Rugby 7s Nationals.
Jackson was a key contributor for the Free Jacks in 2019 and 2020 and the team expects the same during 2021. Look for him to be a target in the lineouts, as well as at the breakdowns.
New England Free jacks Comments
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.
“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.”
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/.