New England Free Jacks win Major League Rugby title on last-minute try

The Free Jacks secured their first-ever MLR championship in dramatic fashion.


The City of Champions just added another title to its collection.

The New England Free Jacks upset the San Diego Legion 25-24 on Saturday in the 2023 Major League Rugby Championship Final to capture their first MLR title in franchise history.

The Free Jacks, who play their home games at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, Mass., were founded in 2018 and didn't play their first game until 2020. They rose to prominence quickly, however, going 13-3 in 2022 before a 14-2 regular-season campaign in 2023.

San Diego was favored entering Saturday's championship match at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago, but the Free Jacks pulled off a dramatic, come-from-behind victory secured by Le Roux Malan's go-ahead try with just five minutes remaining.

The Legion made one final surge in the closing minutes, but New England held on to secure the historic win.

Former New England Patriots teammates Nate Ebner and Patrick Chung are both minority owners of the Free Jacks, who have certainly put themselves on the map while establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in Major League Rugby.

"New England only accepts championships, so I think for us to go the whole way is massive in terms of building a bigger audience and getting heard about, and people finding out there’s another pro sports team in Quincy," Free Jacks general manager Tom Kindley said Saturday, via The Boston Globe.

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