The Dallas Jackals signed Calvin Gentry for the Inaugural Major League Rugby season. Calvin was drafted by the Jackals in Round 3 of the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft. The 23-year-old center, converted to flanker, is 5’11” and 225 lbs.
Calvin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended Power Center Academy High School. He grew up under challenging conditions in a tough neighborhood and joined the Memphis Inner City Rugby, which placed him on a different path than many in his neighborhood.
Calin played 8-man and was named captain and two-time MVP at PCA Rugby Club. He was selected to compete with the Tennessee All-Star Tri-Stars 15s team in 2013-2016, including in Las Vegas in 2015.
“While with the Tri-Stars, his coach encouraged him to try out for the USA Rugby South U19 side.” He represented the US in 2014-2016 and was named MVP of the squad. In 2016, he was named to the Junior All-American team competing for the USA U19 select side and returned to Las Vegas, playing for the Atavus 7s side.
While playing with Memphis Inner City Rugby, Calvin starred, alongside MICR founder Shane Young, in The Rugby Boys of Memphis, an award-winning film in the Tribeca Film Festival. The film touches on the immense impact rugby had on Calvin’s life and can be found on Amazon Prime.
Calvin attended Arkansas State, playing 8-man, center, and wing, and was named to the Collegiate All-American team. Before earning his Associate’s Degree in 2019, he played with Tiger Rugby 7s in Dallas in 2018. He then transferred to the University of Memphis, continued his education, and was once again named to the Collegiate All-American team in 2019.
He played with the Memphis Tigers Rugby Club, a collegiate club, was named MVP two years ago. In 2019, he traveled to London on an invite from the Harlequins Rugby Foundation to train for a day with the squad and speak at a charity event.
On October 9, 2021, Gentry took part in the Inaugural Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), the first-ever professional 7s tournament in the US, with the Headliners.
Dallas Jackals Comments
Gentry said, “There are many reasons to be excited about this recurring opportunity, but the biggest would be the excitement that comes from being a part of MLR’s newest team. I’ve always liked the idea of starting something great as opposed to being a part of something great.”
When asked about the opportunity, Gentry exclaimed, “It means the world to me! I used to dream of playing professional rugby before professional rugby was even a thing, so to have this opportunity is surreal and I’m looking forward to it.”
Recently announcing he and his partner are expecting a little girl at the end of the year, Calvin said, “I’m looking forward to helping raise my little one in a vibrant city like Dallas, becoming a better rugby player, and finishing up grad school at UT Arlington.”
Elaine Vassie, Jackals GM, said, “Calvin’s story on and off-field makes him a genuinely impressive man. His love of the game is displayed in his work ethic, physicality, and mentality on the field, and by bringing uplifting energy, and will be a fantastic addition to our Jackals family.”
Welcome back to the Pack Calvin!