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'He'll fit in well': Ulster sign Irish-qualified Aussie scrum-half

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Ulster have bolstered their squad for the upcoming 2022/23 season with the signing of young Irish-qualified scrum-half Michael McDonald on a one-year deal from Western Force, the Super Rugby Pacific side. An Ulster statement read: “Joining on a one-year deal, 23-year-old scrum-half Michael McDonald will arrive in the province from Super Rugby side Western Force in time for this summer’s pre-season.

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“Born in Louth, McDonald spent his childhood years playing at Dundalk RFC before moving to Perth in Australia at the age of 13, where he moved up the ranks to make his senior debut for Western Force in the Rapid Rugby tournament as a 19-year-old.

“He was selected for the Junior Wallabies, which led him to the World Cup final in 2019. His impressive performances led to his signing for Super Rugby franchise, the NSW Waratahs, where he spent a season before moving back to Western Force last year.”

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Ulster boss Dan McFarland said: “Michael is a promising young half-back who has cut his teeth playing in the southern hemisphere, and he will fit in well with the style of rugby we want to play at Ulster as he continues to hone his skills in the months ahead. We look forward to welcoming Michael to the club as preparations for the new season get underway.”

McDonald added: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to be joining Ulster. It’s always been a goal of mine to get back to Ireland and experience rugby in the northern hemisphere at a professional level. I’m extremely grateful and I look forward to having a go.”

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