The New England Free Jacks will have Justin Johnson back for the second year of his contract for the 2022 season. The 23-year-old flanker is 6’2″ and 215 lbs.
Justin in 14 matches, starting 9 and scored 1 try in 2021 with the Free Jacks. He then played with Mystic River Rugby Club in the Fall 2021 American Rugby Premiership.
Justin is from Inglewood, California, and attended Mira Costa High School where he played rugby beginning in his Sophomore year. He was a multisport athlete and also competed in basketball, football, and various track and field events. A rugby highlight prior to graduation was beating Ysgol Bro Gwain High School from Fishguard, Wales at home.
He was the captain of the rugby team in 2016 and a High School All-American. He also helped Mira Costa win the Southern California High School Championship in both 15s and in 7s in 2014 and 2016.
Justin attended Life University from 2016-2020 and graduates with a Bachelor in Business Administration Degree, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Management. He was an honors student at Life with a 3.9 GPA and graduates with High Honors.
Justin played rugby all 4 years of his college career in the back row. He helped Life to win the 2018 & 2019 Collegiate National Championships and was the National Championship Finalist in 2017. He was a 2-time USA Collegiate All-American and 7’s Collegiate All-American, 2017 Freshman of the Year, 2017 USA-South U-20 RAN Champion and MVP, 2019 & 2020 Mid-South All-Conference.
New England Free Jacks Comments
Playing in nearly every regular-season game, “JJ” was extremely productive playing his role in the forward pack. With 67 successful tackles and 3 being dominant tackles, Johnson was a fundamentally sound defensive player on the pitch. His precision and work ethic on the field is what led Johnson to a starting spot in the lineup week after week.
“Justin arrived as the New England Free Jacks first-ever draft pick and quickly impressed, demonstrating his ability to learn, and attention to detail. This culminated in a starting spot in round 2 against the Houston Sabercats,” emphasized Free Jacks Performance Manager Tom Kindley. “A methodical and talented athlete, JJ made quick strides in his game showing a nice array of soft touches, aerial ability, and capacity to thrive in contact during the 2021 season. We are looking forward to JJ’s continued developments in 2022.”
It isn’t easy playing flanker across from a star counterpart in Joe Johnston each and every game, but Justin has consistently improved match by match and proved his worth. Look forward to Johnson making a serious impact in the upcoming season