The Queensland Reds have confirmed the signing of highly-regarded USA Eagles prop Charli Jacoby for the 2024 Super W season.
The signing of the 24-Test prop is a coup and potentially opens a new frontier for the best women’s players in North America to link with Australian sides.
Jacoby, 34, trained with the Reds for the first time in Brisbane this week.
“Even a couple of years ago, there just wasn’t any opportunity to play overseas if you were a women’s Rugby player,” Jacoby said.
“I’ve played for the Exeter Chiefs in England and now I’m excited to play a whole different brand of rugby in Australia which is more flashy, heads-up and fun.”
The Chicago native learnt to scrum watching YouTube videos when she took to Rugby late at 20.
Her mental make-up was well suited. Both her parents were truck drivers and she has a tattoo of an 18-wheeler on the inside of her bicep.
Coupled with her fierce desire to learn on the field, her rugby credentials now include the World Cup played in New Zealand in 2022.
The Reds can thank former assistant coach Sione Fukofuka, now the head coach of the USA Women’s Eagles, for steering Jacoby to Australia.
“I came back from Exeter to a 9-5 job and just said ‘nah’. I wanted to go play more rugby. I expressed to Sione that I wanted to explore some more and he pointed to Australia,” Jacoby said.
“I’d played with (senior Wallaroos) Lori Cramer and Michaela Leonard at Exeter so I’d heard about the rugby in Australia.”
She will travel to Roma on Saturday for the opening Super W trial against the NSW Waratahs at the Santos Festival of Rugby.
“The Reds girls have welcomed me with open arms. I’ve just been warned about ‘drop bears’ but I’m more concerned about snakes and spiders,” Jacoby said.
Jacoby will bolster the front-row strength at the Reds. There is also good news on the club front because Jacoby will stay on to play with premiers Bond University until Eagles commitments arise.
Reds Super W coach Grant Anderson added: “We’ve lost some girls out of the front-row from 2023 so to have an international-quality tighthead prop to lock down our scrum is a huge plus.
“She’s a physical player and good in the set piece so we look forward to Charli’s time at the Reds.”
The Queensland Reds will face the Waratahs at Gallas Fox Park in Roma for the Santos Festival of Rugby. Kickoff is at 5pm.
Born: October 9, 1989 (Age 34)
USA Eagles debut: 2019
- Exeter Chiefs (England) since 2022
- 2022 Rugby World Cup played in New Zealand