Rugby United New York retweeted a YouTube interview by Jim Hamilton of The Lockdown with Drew Mitchell, which indicated that Drew had signed a three-year contract to play/coach with the Roosters in Major League Rugby beginning in 2020. That did not come to fruition in 2020 due to the length of time in receiving visa clearance, but he will join the team in 2021. The 36-year-old wing (37 in March 2021) is 6’0″ and 203 lbs.
Drew’s signing with RUNY was reported in January 2020 by the Rugby Pass, but the team did not make an announcement of his signing. Drew decided to come out of retirement after last playing with Toulon in 2017 and indicated that “I had a really open dialogue with Jamie Kennedy and the guys who own Rugby United.”
Drew initially met with James Kennedy and Greg McWilliams in New York in November 2019 after the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“We both know my situation in terms of being out of it for a while but, at the same time, I’m pretty competitive – hence the reason I’ve been putting myself in a hole most days of the week to try to get back to some type of fitness before I join the boys.”
Drew met with James Kennedy and Greg McWilliams in New York in November 2019.
Drew is from Liverpool, Australia and attended Strathpine West State School before transferring to St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe. He played rugby with the Pine Rivers Pumas, captained the Queensland Academy of Sport U19 team and then for the Australian Schoolboys in 2001.
He played professionally with the Queensland Reds from 2004-2006, making 35 appearances and scoring 55 points. He switched to Western Force from 2007-2009, making 38 appearances and scoring 45 points. He concluded his Super Rugby career with New South Wales Waratahs from 2010-2013 with 39 appearances and scoring 85 points.
From 2013-2017 Drew played in the Top 14 in France with Toulon, making 81 appearances.
Drew made his debut for the Australian National Team on July 9, 2005, against South Africa in Sydney and made the last of his 71 tests on September 10, 2016, against South Africa in Brisbane. His test career included 54 starts and 34 tries for 170 points.
He played 14 times in the Bledisloe Cup, 26 times in The Rugby Championship and played in three Rugby World Cups in 2007, 2011, and in 2015. He is Wallabies’ highest try scorer in Rugby World Cup history with 14. This is one try behind all-time leaders Lomu and Habana.
Drew also played internationally for the Barbarians.
Rugby United New York
James Kennedy confirmed that Drew Mitchell has a three-year contract with the team. He will be coaching, playing, working in the community, and learning the front office side of the club.
“I’m really excited to have Drew on board. He is going to have a massive positive influence on the entire squad and with his extraordinary playing experience, he will be a huge help to our coaches. He brings a great level of energy and I know he is excited to get to New York City and to start working in the community.”
“It’s known by all in our community what a great bloke he is. I’ve had lots of folks reach out and applaud the signing, Micheal Cheika just last week for example.”
“It’s a real shame he didn’t get to play alongside Mathieu, as they were very good friends from their time together at Toulon.”