The New England Free Jacks re-signed Josh Larsen through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 28-year-old lock (29 in April) is 6’5″ and 250 lbs.
Josh has played 34 of 38 matches since joining the Free Jacks and he was the team’s captain for 31 of them. He will play in the Rugby Tens Championship this Fall.
Josh, the Free jacks captain, played 937 minutes in 12 starts and scored one try. He completed 139 tackles, ranking 21st in tackles made across the league. Seven of the tackles were dominant, ranking him 13th in the league often seen driving ball carriers backward. With a total of 69 lineout takes, Josh ranked 5th in the MLR.
Josh, who was named as the team’s 2020 captain, started all five matches for the Free Jacks during their truncated MLR season. He appeared in all but 8 minutes of the abbreviated 2020 season. “Larsen showed his worth with a team-topping 59 tackles and 19 lineout takes. The skipper even showed a knack for getting to the try-line with two conniving tries, one seeing Larsen dive over the breakdown.”
During the 2019 MLR season, Josh played 934 minutes in 13 matches for Austin Elite Rugby and was a key contributor. He scored two tries, carried the ball 91 times for 473 meters, and made 195 tackles.
Josh is playing for the Miami Sun 10s in the World Ten Series in Bermuda from October 25 through November 7, 2020.
Josh was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, but grew up in New Zealand along with his brother Travis, who also played for Austin Elite Rugby Club in 2019.
Josh began playing rugby when he was 6 years old and attended Mount Albert Grammar School. He then studied at the University of Otago in 2015, pursuing a Commerce Degree.
In 2014 he played with the Canada Under-20s in the Junior World Trophy competition. In 2015 he played with the Taieri RFC and then for Northland Rugby Academy in 2016. The following year he played for the Northland Taniwha Mitre 10 Cup team, helping the club advance to the Championship.
In 2017 Josh debuted for Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team against the Maori All Blacks in Vancouver. He has 17 caps, starting 13 matches with the last of his test against Portugal in Lisbon on November 6, 2021. He played against Oxford University in 2018 leading up to the World Rugby Repechage and then started all three Repechage matches against Kenya, Germany, and Hong Kong as Canada won the 2019 Rugby World Cup final spot. He played at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Josh also played in the Canadian Rugby Championship in 2018 for the BC Bears. he then joined Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2018, appearing in 4 matches, before a minor elbow injury curtailed his season. In 2019 he played professionally in the U.S. for Austin Elite Rugby and in 2020 joined the New England Free Jacks.