New England Free Jacks Signs Ben LeSage

The New England Free Jacks signed Canadian international Ben LeSage for the 2023 Major League Rugby season after obtaining his rights in the MLR 2022 dispersal draft of LA and Austin players.  The 27-year-old center is 6’0″ and 215 lbs.

Ben played 979 minutes in 12 starts and scored 4 tries for the LA Giltinis in 2022. He also continued to captain the Canadian National Team.

Ben was obtained by LA in 2022 from Toronto in a trade for flanker James O’Neill, a third-round selection in the 2022 MLR Collegiate Draft, and salary cap considerations with Ben signing a two-year contract.

Ben played 926 minutes in 13 starts and scored 5 tries with the Arrows in 2021. He represented Canada in 2021 playing against Wales, England, the United States, and Chile twice in the 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers, before ending with Portugal.

Ben started all five matches, playing 360 minutes in his debut season with the club, carrying 19 times for 162 carry meters, making 37 tackles (84.1% completion), and adding three offloads, two linebreaks, and a tackle break throughout the truncated 2020 season.

Ben was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and went to Dr. E.P. Scarlett High where he played football and was a member of the swim team. In his senior year, the football team won the Division 3 football championship. Since his high school did not have rugby, he played at Henry Wise Wood High School and helped the team win three rugby city championships. He also played youth rugby for the Calgary Canucks.

After high school, Ben attended the University of British Columbia from 2013-2019 where he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering. He was on the Academic All-Canadian & Dean’s Honour List for his final two years at the university.

Ben also played rugby for the UBC Thunderbirds with the team winning three Rounsfell Cups and in 2019 was nominated as the most outstanding graduating male athlete. He also spent time playing rugby in New Zealand after his first year at UBC.

Ben also played age-grade rugby for Canada. He toured with the U18s in 2013 and played for the U20s at the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Hong Kong in 2014.

He made his debut for the Canada Senior Men’s National Team on November 19, 2016, against Romania in Bucharest, and played in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. After playing in the November 2022 tests for Canada, he has 27 test caps (26 starts).

Ben also played club rugby for the Calgary Canucks and provincial rugby for the Prairie Wolf Pack since 2017.

When not playing rugby, Ben may be seen cycling.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant