Former Sharks captain Lubabalo (‘Tera’) Mtembu has become the latest player to be tempted across the Atlantic after agreeing to join Major League Rugby side the New England Free Jacks. Mtembu has signed a three-year contract with the Boston based side and will join ahead of the 2021 MLR season.
It end Mtembu’s 10-year association with the Sharks, having signed in 2010 and going on to captain the Super Rugby side in 2016 and 2017 and lead the Currie Cup Campaigns in 2014 and 2019.
The 29-year-old made 47 Super Rugby appearances and won 45 Currie Cup caps for the Sharks.
“I am grateful to the Free Jacks for giving me this awesome opportunity to join an exciting program and growing community,” Mtembu said.
“I am looking forward to the challenge, to learn new things, add value where I can and most importantly, earn my teammates’ and the fans’ trust and respect.”
The powerful loose forward, who is 6’2″ and tips 245lb on the scales, also represented the South Africa U20 and Sevens teams.
Known for his strong carries and skills arounds the breakdown, in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he averaged a 95% tackle success rate.
“A proven leader and key contributor at Super Rugby level, Tera will not only be a tremendous asset on the field, but will display what it means to be a Free Jack and role model through his daily behaviors,” said Tom Kindley, Free Jacks Performance Manager.
? @TeraMtembu set to make an impact!
— New England Free Jacks (@NEFreeJacks) July 30, 2020
“With the ability to play across the back row, jump in the lineout and create havoc off the back of the scrum, Tera is a versatile, top quality player that we are thrilled to welcome to New England.
“We are thankful to the Sharks for one of their finest sons and are excited to see Tera impart his knowledge and leadership to players and staff within the organization and Junior Jacks academy development squads.”
Mtembu will also assist in academy programs and work with players and coaches alike to grow the game of rugby in the New England region.
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