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Free Jacks sign Tonga back row Jack Ram

The New England Free Jacks have signed Tongan international Jack Ram for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. A member of the Ikali Tahi team at Rugby World Cup 2015, the 33-year-old loose forward arrives from Coventry having spent most of the past four years playing in England.

Born in Australia but raised in Tonga, Ram breakthrough into professional rugby would come in New Zealand. He was selected to the Northland Taniwha squad for the 2012 season and his form was rewarded with call-ups to the Blues in the 2015 and 2016 Super Rugby season, though he would make just two regular season appearances.

In 2016 Ram signed for Doncaster Knights, where he would play two seasons before making the move to Coventry in 2018. He was a first choice player for both RFU Championship clubs, splitting his time between the openside and blindside flank positions.

Ram’s speed and ball carrying ability saw him debut for Tonga on the World Sevens Series in 2011, and after impressing with the Tonga ‘A’ side he made his full test debut in the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup. Most recently Ram captained the Tonga team at the 2018 RWC Sevens in San Francisco.

New England will have four newcomers in their back row stables for 2021. Former Sharks captain Tera Mtembu joins Ram as a high-profile addition, while Junior All-American flankers Justin Johnson and Jack Miller have also signed on. Departing the team are 2020 imports Naulia Dawai and Brad Hemopo.