The Chicago Hounds obtained Irish-born and Canadian international Jason Higgins for the 2024 Major League Rugby season after a trade with the San Diego Legion which sent Hugh Roach to the Legion. The 28-year-old scrumhalf (29 in March) is 6’1″ and 200 lbs.
Jason played 365 minutes in 7 matches, starting, and scoring 2 tries for San Diego Legion in 2023. He completed 232 passes at an 89% pass accuracy clip, and defensively, was credited with 48 tackles on his 61 attempts. Jason then played international test rugby with Canada, playing in 2 matches against Tonga during the Summer and against Spain at La Vila International Rugby Cup, as well as being selected to start against Brazil on 18 November.
Jason played 713 minutes in 13 matches, starting 9, and scored 6 tries for the Legion in 2022. He also had 453 successful passes, carried the ball 34 times for 367 meters gained (11 meters-per-carry), had six linebreaks, and defensively had 48 tackles, including one dominant one. He then played with Canada in A matches in Uruguay and in the November internationals.
In 2021 he played 418 minutes in 13 matches, starting 3, and scored 4 tries for the Toronto Arrows. He completed 93% of his passes accurately, totaling 254, and carried the ball 14 times for 99 meters. He also played four matches for Canada in 2021.
He was to have played with Rugby United New York in 2020, however, a visa was unable to be obtained. That was not a problem in playing with the Arrows, as he has a Canadian father, which made him eligible to play for Canada in 2021.
The Douglas, Cork, Ireland native began playing rugby at age six with the Cork Constitution Rugby Club Youth team. He attended Christian Brother College from 2008 to 2014. He then attended University at Cork College earning a Bachelor’s and recently, a Master’s Degree in Business Economics.
At Christian Brother College, his prowess on the rugby pitch led to playing for the Munster U20s and then Munster A.
He has played with Cork Constitution for the past five years, winning multiple All-Ireland League championships. The 26-year-old recently earned his Master’s Degree in Business Economics at the University of College Cork. In 2014, Jason was awarded the Player of the Year in his last season with the club.
At Cork Constitution, he played on their senior side. The team competed in the Munster Senior Cup, winning the competition in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019. In 2017 and 2019, Higgins helped Cork Constitution win the All-Ireland League Championship.
Canada International Tests
Jason, who qualified to represent Canada through his Canadian father, made his debut for Canada’s Senior National Team against the United States at St John’s, Newfoundland on September 4, 2021, as part of the North American Qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. He played a second match against the U.S. and one against Chile, before playing against the Netherlands and Namibia in November. Before the November tests, he played in Uruguay with Canada A.
For all four matches, he entered as a reserve. It was disappointing losing the two series to the United States and Chile, which resulted in Canada missing the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 2023.
In 2023 Jason played international test rugby with Canada, playing in 2 matches against Tonga during the Summer and against Spain at La Vila International Rugby Cup. He now has 12 test caps for Canada and was selected to start in a match against Brazil on 18 November which would be his 13th cap.