Old Glory DC will have its final tune-up of the preseason as the New England Free Jacks come to town for an unofficial match. Since the results won't count, both teams will be using this as a chance to knock off some rust and get experience for their newer players. Unfortnately, the match will not be televised or streamed for those who aren't able to attend.

Details

  • When: Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: The St. James (map, tickets)
  • Channel: There is no TV or streaming coverage of this match
  • Weather forecast: Played indoors

Preview

New England Free Jacks

The Free Jacks surged towards the end of last season, not quite making the playoffs but landing on a respectable 10-6 record. They had late victories over both Eastern Conference finalists, Rugby ATL and Rugby United New York. In the end, they were just five table points short of a playoff spot.

However, since last season they have had to replace their head coach, Ryan Martin, who headed to the Melbourne Rebels. Furthermore, key pieces like Wian Conradie, Kensuke Hatakeyama, and Tera Mtembu have all moved on from the team or retired. Some big names are coming in, though, like Holden Youngert from NOLA Gold and Paula Balekana from the Houston Sabercats. Like every other MLR team, significant turnover makes it difficult to predict how the team will look in 2022.

There are some notable players returning, though. Their captain, Canadian international Josh Larsen, is returning, as are back-rower Joe Johnston, scrumhalf John Poland, flyhalf Beaudein Waaka, and winger Dougie Fife.

Old Glory DC

OGDC lost last weekend's match up to Toronto by a significant margin, but that match was hardly representative of the team. Only a handful of starters played in the match, which was used mostly to get experience for the new players. This week, things will be a little bit different. Old Glory is rolling out a lineup stuffed with experience and starters. Stars like Danny Tusitala, Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz, and Renata Roberts-Te Nana will be getting the run out, among many others.

There are still some differences between this team and OGDC's ideal starting lineup. Owen Sheehy, Mo Katz, new signing Michah Griffin are all unlikely to start come the regular season, given the availability of more experienced options. Furthermore, Mike Dabulas is playing at flyhalf for now while Rohan Saifoloi waits for his visa.

Of course, this is still a preseason match, so expect to see a lot of the new guys subbed on during the match. Both teams have named larger-than-usual benches of 12 men, and OGDC's bench has a lot of the new faces we saw last week.

Lineups

Old Glory DC

  1. Jack Iscaro
  2. Mo Katz
  3. Jake Ilnicki
  4. Api Naikatini
  5. Stan South
  6. Luke Campbell
  7. Dom Bailey
  8. Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz
  9. Danny Tusitala
  10. Mike Dabulas
  11. Michah Griffin
  12. Junior Sa'u
  13. Doug Fraser
  14. Renata Roberts-Te Nana
  15. Owen Sheehy

Reserves:

  1. Rob Irimescu
  2. Will Vakalahi
  3. Kyle Stewart
  4. Dante Lopresti
  5. Tevita Naqali
  6. David Beach
  7. Dacoda Worth
  8. Fintan Coleman
  9. Danny Thomas
  10. LJ Koi-Larbi
  11. Simi Moala
  12. John Lefevre

New England Free Jacks

To be announced