The New England Free Jacks signed the 8th pick in the 2021 MLR Draft, Cael Ho’okele Hodgson, for the 2022 season of Major League Rugby. The 23-year-old center/wing is 6’2″ and 215lbs.
Cael was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and lived there for 12 years. His mother was born in Hawaii and his father has roots in England and Scotland. Cael was introduced to rugby by his father at age 4, and he played with the Bangkok Lions, where his father coached until his family moved to Wolverhampton, England when he was 12. He attended the New International School of Thailand.
After moving to Wolverhampton, England, he attended Worcester Sixth Form and then Nottingham Trent University. He represented the university in rugby in the Midlands Competition and was a member of the performance squad from 2017 to 2019, as well as represented the North Midlands U20 select side.
Cael also joined the Worcester Warriors AASE Academy and was a member of the Scottish Exiles U18 team in the Scotland U18 trials in 2017.
After traveling to Miami, FL for Tropical 7’s he decided to accept a scholarship offer to attend Lindenwood University and play rugby. In 2020 he was Lindenwood’s top try-scorer and was selected to the Mid-South All-Conference 2nd team. He graduated there with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science.
This past October, Cael’s performances led to his selection on the USA Men’s Selects roster for the 2021 Americas Pacific Challenge in Montevideo, Uruguay.
New England Free Jacks Comments
“It’s great to have Cael successfully migrated to Boston and be a part of the scenery here,” commented Free Jacks Performance Director, Tom Kindley. “He’s a good man, fits in really well, and we are delighted to have him contracted for 2022 to see what he can do.”
“We are really excited about the opportunity to draft Cael, who we think can add punch to our midfield and outside back stocks in New England,” said Free Jacks Performance Manager, Tom Kindley. “At 6’2, 215lbs he is combative and a strong ball carrier. Based on long conversations with Lindenwood Head Coach, Josh Macy, we felt as though our environment was the right one to continue to develop his game at the next level.”