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Drew Mitchell is coming out of retirement to play MLR, with Robshaw and Zebo also set for talks

By Liam Heagney
Drew Mitchell (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Drew Mitchell is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a deal to play with Rugby United New York in the new MLR season in America.


RUNY kick off their campaign on February 9 when they face the New England Free Jacks in Las Vegas. It was thought that Mathieu Bastareaud would be their prime drawcard, the former French international poised for his debut in Vegas after taking a sabbatical from the Top 14 and arriving in New York in December. 

However, RugbyPass have learned that Bastareaud now won’t be the only former star international new to the New York roster in 2020 as the club have moved quickly to get Mitchell on board after a stint of TV punditry in Australia.

Mitchell called time on his playing career at the end of the 2016/17 season with Toulon, signing off at the age of 33 after a stellar stint where he scored 34 tries in 71 Test appearances for his country and appeared in the 2015 World Cup final.

He also played for three Australian Super Rugby franchises – the Force, the Waratahs and the Reds – before embarking on his wonderfully successful trophy-winning stint in France. 

(Continue reading below…)

The team captains were all in London for the recent media launch of the Guinness Six Nations

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Thirty-six in March, Mitchell tweeted last week: “Anyone looking to hire?? My 2020 is off to a good start. #ServicesNotRequired.”

Those services have been snapped up by RUNY who are at the forefront of the growing buzz about the MLR and the attraction it has for people wanting to experience some time living in America. 


While New York will unveil their Mitchell deal this week, RugbyPass has learned that they are also believed to be sounding out some other stellar names with a view to potentially signing in 2021 as former England skipper Chris Robshaw and former Ireland player Simon Zebo are due in the Big Apple next week.

Robshaw – who has been a one-club man throughout his entire professional career – signed a three-year deal with Harlequins in August 2017 that is soon to expire. He turns 34 next June and could be looking to experience something different in his career before hanging up the boots.


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He joins Mathieu Bastareaud and Ben Foden on the East Coast. #RUNY #MLR

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Zebo, who turns 30 in March, is also out of contract at the end of the current 2019/20 season in France where he has spent the last season and a half with Racing 92.

WATCH: What is life like in the MLR with Rugby United New York? RugbyPass found out when visiting former England full-back Ben Foden in Foden: Stateside 

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