Globe Local


Pro rugby to debut at former South Weymouth Naval Air Station

The New England Free Jacks, a professional rugby team, will play its inaugural home game on Saturday, March 14, at the sports complex in Union Point — the sprawling and often stalled development at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

The team was named as an expansion franchise of Major League Rugby in September 2018 and is competing in its first season this year. The team won its first game, 34-14, on Feb. 9 against Rugby United New York, and lost its next three matches.

The Free Jacks will play the Houston SaberCats at 4 p.m. on March 14 at Union Point. On an adjacent field at the same time, team sponsor Harpoon Beer will hold a rugby-themed festival with a beer garden, lawn games, and children’s activities.


The Free Jacks’ schedule calls for seven home games this season, which runs through May.

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The team announced in September 2019 that it would be based at Union Point, where it has built a temporary stadium with 2,000 seats and plans to expand soon by another 600 to 800 seats, according to team spokesman Oliver Engelhart.

“We’re not sure how many years we plan to be at Union Point,” he said. “But it’s a fantastic venue — very flexible — and as we grow it has the ability to grow with us.”

The Union Point sports complex has fields for rugby, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, and also is used by Global Premier Soccer, Boston Laxachusetts, and the Boston Rugby Club.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at