The Western Force has reinforced its young Western Australian talent stocks with Australian U20 World Cup vice-captain Michael McDonald returning to the club on a two-year contract.
Coming from Ireland at a young age McDonald started his rugby career as a junior at Palmyra Rugby Club before elevating into RugbyWA's pathway system.
Having risen through the ranks as part of the Future Force program before debuting for the Force against the Asia Pacific Dragons during the 2019 Global Rapid Rugby Showcase, the 21-year-old is poised to pick up where he left off in WA.
Making his Super Rugby debut this year for the NSW Waratahs against New Zealand’s Waikato Chiefs, the scrum-half, who has captained the Junior Wallabies, has a bright future ahead of him at the Force.
“It means the world to me to be back in Perth and with the Force. I absolutely love the place, so to be given the opportunity to pull the Force jersey on again is amazing,” McDonald said.
“I’m very passionate about this club. I grew up supporting and watching the Western Force since moving to Australia from Ireland when I was 13.”
The dynamic number nine is keen to reunite with some familiar faces, as well as a childhood hero.
“It’s a dream come true to potentially line-up for the club alongside Rob Kearney. As a kid I watched him play for Ireland and Leinster for years. I’m really looking forward to learning as much as I can from him,” he said.
Head of rugby Matt Hodgson is thrilled to have the talented number nine back at the club.
“Michael returning to the Force is a fantastic signing. It’s exciting to add more young Australian talent and we can’t wait to see him develop his game further,” Hodgson explained.
“We are working hard to ensure promising local players remain in WA and that they progress under the club’s guidance.
“With a massive year ahead in 2021, we’re looking forward to seeing Michael contribute and grow within the squad.”