New England Free Jacks Wian Conradie Returns

New England Free Jacks added Namibian international Wian Conradie for the remainder of the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old flanker/No.8 is 6’1″ (1.85m) and 231 lbs (105 kg).

Wian was a key player for the Free Jacks in 2021, playing 1125 minutes in 15 matches, starting 14, and scoring 4 tries. Following the season, he signed with Gloucester in the English Premiership for the 2021-2022 season, playing in two first-team matches.

He was originally signed by the Dallas Jackals for 2021 but became a free agent signing by the Free Jacks after the Jackals postponed entry to the league until 2022.

Wian was born in Windhoek, Namibia, and played youth hockey, cricket, and rugby before concentrating on the latter. He attended Windhoek High School where he played No.8 for one of the best teams in Namibia. The team won three consecutive rugby championships and helped in four of the seven consecutive Metropolitan Boards U19 Super League Championships. In 2011 he played for the country on the Namibia Academy team and the following year represented Namibia in the U18 Craven Week in South Africa, as well as in the U19 Confederation of African Rugby tournament.

His national age-grade experience continued in 2013, helping the U19 team qualify for the Junior Rugby World Cup in Nelspruit, South Africa, and also playing in the U20 Junior World Rugby Trophy in Temuco, Chile.

Following his high school graduation, he attended the University of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa from 2014-to 2019 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in B-tech Quantity Surveying. He played rugby on the university’s U20 and U21 rugby teams and represented Namibia on the U20 team at the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Hong Kong. he also played for the university team all four years of the FNB Varsity Cup tournament, a competition that featured eight South African universities.

Wian made his Namibia National Team debut against Kenya at Windhoek on August 8, 2015, and was one of four under 21-year-old players selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London, England where he played in two matches against Georgia and Argentina. In 2016 and 2017 he competed in the World Rugby Nations Cup in Bucharest, Romania, and Montevideo, Uruguay, respectively. In 2017, he also played in the Africa Gold Cup 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia, and helped Namibia to win gold.

He helped Namibia qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan by winning the Africa Cup. In 2019 he represented North-West University in South Africa at the FNB Varsity Cup, as well as played for Namibia at the 2019 Nations Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was then selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and played in two matches against Italy and South Africa. The latter was his 19th cap on September 28, 2019. He was also selected to start in the team’s final match against Canada, but the match in Kamaishi, Japan was canceled due to the destruction of Typhoon Hagibis.

Following the Rugby World Cup, Wian was signed in November 2019 to play with the Doncaster Knights for the 2019-2020 season, but the season ended prematurely due to COVID -19.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant