John Quill’s red-carded shoulder charge to the head of England’s Owen Farrell at the World Cup has turned out to be the USA player’s last ever Test rugby action. 


Despite being just 29 and potentially a contender to feature at France 2023, the Irishman, who made his Eagles debut in November 2012, has decided to bow out following two World Cups and 37 caps. 

Quill made headlines around the rugby world when he became the first player red-carded at the recent finals in Japan when his head-high shoulder shot on England’s Farrell resulted in his sending-off in Kobe near the end of America’s 45-7 defeat. 

The back row was subsequently banned for three weeks, ruling him out of the USA’s three remaining pool matches and rather than stay with the squad, he opted to return home from Japan.

Quill was the first American to ever be red-carded at the finals and the former Gaelic football and hurler from Cork has now decided it is best to retire from international rugby. 

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After emigrating to Boston, Quill made his way up the American rugby ranks and in recent years was contracted to the Glendale Raptors and Rugby United New York in Major League Rugby. 

Quill told, “Every game has been a gift. I feel very lucky to have worn the jersey as many times as I have, the experiences and friendships I’ve gained along the way I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

“This would have been in no way possible without the love and support of my wife, family and friends, who have been with me through every high and low on this journey and backing me every step of the way. Eagle #435 signing off.”


USA boss Gary Gold added: “We are incredibly grateful to John for his contributions to the team over the past several years. He has a tremendous work ethic, is a brilliant competitor and his toughness and physicality will be truly missed.

“While his time on the field may have come to an end, John has left an indelible mark on the rest of the squad through his continuous drive to push himself and help those around him become better on and off the field. We wish him nothing but the best and look forward to hearing him cheering for us from the stands.”

Quill’s red card for his foul play on Farrell was followed nine days later by another head-hit shot on the England skipper. Tomas Lavanini, the Argentine, was also red-carded. 

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