The New England Free Jacks re-signed New Zealand Slade Mcdowall for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old openside flanker is 6’0″ and 220lbs.
Slade played 890 minutes in 13 matches, starting 11, and scored 3 tries for the Free Jacks in 2022. He then played 55 minutes for Manawatu in the National Provincial Championship.
Slade is from Mataura, on the south island of New Zealand. He attended Otago Boys High School and his rugby performance led to his selection to the New Zealand Schools team in 2015 at the end of his high school career.
Slade progressed through the Otago Rugby’s Academy system while studying at Otago Polytechnic, and made his debut with the Otago National Provincial Championship squad in 2017. He was also elected to the wider New Zealand Under 20 squad in 2018.
Slade played five seasons with Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup, which is currently the Bunnings NPC. He made 41 NPC appearances and helped the team in the Ranfurly Shield in 2018 and 2020.
In 2020 he joined the Super Rugby Highlanders, as a replacement for the injured James Lentjes for the tour of South Africa and Argentina.
Slade also played club rugby with Kaikorai RFC in Dunedin, and the OBHS Old Boys and were the Spartan Tens Champions in 2021.