The New England Free Jacks hosts Rugby New York on Sunday, April 30 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, MA. at 3 pm ET. The match is being broadcast on NBCSB, and MSG, and streamed domestically and internationally on The Rugby Network.
New England Free Jacks
The Free Jacks, who top the MLR Eastern Conference, have made six starter changes and another in the reserves for the match against their rivals. Two of the changes were due to injuries to Andrew Quattrin and John Poland with Mills Sanerivi starting at hooker and Kierna McClea at scrumhalf. The two-match suspension of Jesse Pareti has Semisi Paea returning at lock.
Tevita Sole will start at loosehead prop with Kyle Ciquera shifting to the reserves. Both Wayne Van Der Bank and Spencer Jones are rested with Ben LeSage and Reece MacDonald starting at the outside center and fullback, respectively.
The lone reserve change includes Conor Young at tighthead prop with Zach Bastres out of the matchday 23 with the Free Jacks opting for a 6-2 split.
A sell-out crowd was expected for the match, but rain and strong winds will make it an uncomfortable match for both players and fans alike.
Rugby New York Ironworkers
New York has had a rash of injuries but played well in their 34-27 loss to the Houston SaberCats last Sunday. This week they have five players returning from injury to matchday 23 along with the addition of Kieran Joyce to the team.
Chance Wenglewski is the lone change in the forwards with Sam Davies shifting to the reserves. In the backs, both Jason Emery and Quinn Ngawati are out with Sam Windsor shifting from fullback to flyhalf and Nick Feakes at fullback. Ed Fidow returns to the left wing.
In the reserves, Tevita Langi is poised to enter at loosehead prop, Pago Haini at the back row, Connor Buckley at scrumhalf, and Kieran Joyce, a utility back, provides coverage at flyhalf, fullback, and at the center.
With rain expected in Quincy, defense and ball handling will be important on the day. That could make it a close match and penalty goals may decide the outcome.
While the Free Jacks with 34 points will remain in first place in the MLR Eastern Conference regardless of the outcome, the Ironworkers are involved in a four-team competition for second and third place and qualification for the playoffs.
The team is currently in third place with 23 points, two behind Old Glory DC with NOLA Gold with 21 and Rugby ATL with 20. New York will be looking for a win, but points gained through a draw, a match within 7 points, or getting 4 tries, could gain the team valuable points in the standings.
Squad with Player Article Links
New England Free Jacks: 1 Tevita Sole 2 Mills Sanerivi 3 Cole Keith 4 Semisi Paea 5 Conor Keys 6 Mitch Jacobson 7 Slade Mcdowall 8 Wian Conradie 9 Kieran McClea 10 Jayson Potroz 11 Paula Balekana 12 LeRoux Malan 13 Ben LeSage 14 Mitch Wilson 15 Reece MacDonald 16 Kianu Kereru-Symes 17 Kyle Ciquera 18 Conor Young 19 Reegan O’Gorman 20 Joe Johnston 21 Holden Yungert 22 Isaac Olson 23 Cam Davidowicz
Rugby New York Ironworkers: 1 Chance Wenglewskii 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Kaleb Geiger 4 Nate Brakeley (C) 5 Hamish Dalzell 6 Brad Tucker 7 Monate Akuei 8 Kara Pryor 9 Conor McManus 10 Sam Windsor 11 Ed Fidow 12 Teihorangi Walden 13 Fa’asiu Fuatai 14 Andrew Coe 15 Nick Feakes16 Daquan Perry 17 Tevita Langi 18 Sam Davies 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Pago Haini 21 Connor Buckley 22 Kieran Joyce 23 Brooklyn Hardaker