Larsen Re-Signs With New England
Source: Getty Images
The New England Free Jacks have announced the return of their captain Josh Larsen for the 2021 season. With the announcement Larsen becomes the 14th Canadian officially signed to an MLR team south of the border for the 2021 campaign. However, he is the first Canadian signing to be announced with a fun t-shirt, which has become a great Free Jacks marketing initiative!
Larsen, who has 15 caps for Canada, will be entering his third MLR campaign. In 2019 Larsen served as the vice-captain for the Austin (team formerly known as) Elite where he scored two tries in 13 games. He then joined the expansion New England Free Jacks for their inaugural campaign where he became the first captain in the franchise’s history.
Larsen provided plenty of leadership for the new squad as the 26-year-old lock started all five games of the shortened 2020 season. He registered 2 tries, 28 carries, 104 metres, a team leading 59 tackles (86% completion), and a team leading 19 lineout takes. Larsen’s 2 tries ranked 3rd among Canadians only trailing Toronto Arrows’ captain Dan Moor and Old Glory DC winger Doug Fraser.
His 59 tackles put him in a tie with Seattle Seawolves flanker Nakai Penny for 3rd among all Canadians in the league. Matt Heaton of Rugby ATL led the way with 74 and Toronto’s Lucas Rumball registered 69.
The Free Jacks will not be the next club that Larsen will suit up for. Larsen will run out with the Miami Sun in the Bermuda World Tens tournament that begins this weekend. Larsen will be joined by DTH van der Merwe on the Sun. The star Canadian winger is also expected to be included in the LA Giltinis signings that will begin being announced on November 1st.
The Canadian contingent in Bermuda also includes NOLA Gold teammates Kyle Baillie and Eric Howard representing the Ohio Aviators. Ollie Nott and Nick Taylor, who Seattle took with the 17th pick in the MLR Draft, will run out with the Rhinos. The Bermuda World Tens will kick off on Sunday October 25th.
With the addition of Larsen, there are now 14 Canadians officially signed to American MLR teams for the 2021 season:
Moe Abdelmonem (Austin Gilgronis-Flanker) Hank Stevenson (Dallas Jackals-Lock) Nik Hildebrand (Houston SaberCats-Prop) Robbie Povey (Houston SaberCats-Flyhalf/Fullback) Josh Larsen (New England Free Jacks- Lock) Kyle Baillie (NOLA Gold- lock/back row) Eric Howard (NOLA Gold- Hooker) Doug Fraser (Old Glory DC- Centre/Wing) Ciaran Hearn (Old Glory DC- Centre) Matt Heaton (Rugby ATL- Flanker) Conor Keys (Rugby ATL- Lock) Quinn Ngawati (Rugby United New York-Centre) Josh Thiel (San Diego Legion- Centre) Nick Taylor (drafted by Seattle Seawolves- Centre)