The New England Free Jacks signed Pieter Jansen through the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old hooker (26 in March is 6’0” and 230 lbs.
Pieter is from Springs, Gauteng, South Africa, and attended Hoërskool Dr. E.G. Jansen, Boksburg. He arrives in Boston after playing with the Super Rugby’s Emirates Lions during the 2019-2020 season.
Pieter played youth rugby for the Falcons in 2008 and the Golden Lions from 2013-2016. From 2016-2020 he made 34 appearances for Golden Lions XV in the Rugby Challenge. He played with the Xerox Golden Lions in the Currie Cup, South Africa’s premier domestic competition, making 22 appearances and scoring 8 tries.
New England Free Jacks Comments
“I’m very grateful and excited about my journey in New England and can’t wait to join the boys and create something special for the club and fans,” said the 25-year-old.
In 2019, Jansen’s first season with the Lions, the exciting hooker made four appearances off the bench as a replacement for his friend and mentor, Springbok star Malcolm Marx. “Malcolm has made such a big impact on world rugby,” Jansen explained in the leadup to the Lions 2020 campaign, “having him guide me over the last few seasons has been immense.”
In 2020, with Marx on a year-long sabbatical from his Super Rugby commitments, Jansen made the most of his opportunity to secure the Lions no. 2 jersey, making his first Emirates Lions start against the Jaguares in the opening match of the 2020 Super Rugby Season. Nicknamed “Piet Piston” by his Lions teammates, Jansen went on to feature in every game for the Lions before Super Rugby’s premature cancellation, earning a total of five starts for the storied franchise.
“Pieter is a hard-working and accurate forward who loves to open the legs up in the width,” said Free Jacks’ head coach, Ryan Martin. “He is well-traveled having experienced top-level rugby in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa and off the field is a true gentleman.”
Free Jacks fans can expect Jansen to make an immediate impact in the 2021 MLR Season. Known for his powerful scrummaging, tenacious defense, and work rate in the loose, Jansen, a converted prop, will undoubtedly make his presence known across the pitch.
Join Pieter and the Free Jacks for a virtual Town Hall “News and Brews,” on October 15. 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/.