BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott club men's rugby student-athlete Jackson Thiebes (Manchester, Mass.) has signed a professional contract with the New England Free Jacks of Major League Rugby (MLR). Thiebes is the first student-athlete in program history to sign a professional contract.
"I have coached Jackson in high school and college and he has always been a pleasure to coach," said Endicott club men's rugby head coach Dave Kenkel. "Jackson has a great attitude and work ethic, he also is extremely athletic and just an all-around tremendous team guy. I wish him all the luck with the Free Jacks and I know he will make our program, our alumni, and the Endicott College community proud."
On September 20, 2018, it was announced by MLR that Atlanta and Boston would become members of the league and begin play in the 2020 season, MLR's third season for the young league. Since then, Thiebes and his Free Jacks teammates have played in two matches.
Meanwhile, as a member of Endicott's men's rugby team this season, Thiebes has helped the Gulls to a perfect 11-0 record, a No. 1 national ranking in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Top-25 Coaches Poll, a CCRC Championship and a NSCRO Northeast Regional Championship.
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY (MLR)
Major League Rugby (MLR), launched in April 2018, is the highest level professional rugby league in America. It's an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.
(Photo Credit - Mike Connors)