The Austin Gilgronis re-signed former All Black, Jamie ‘Whoppa’ Mackintosh for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 35-year-old prop (36 in February) is 6’4” and 290 lbs.
Jamie will have a dual role as a player-coach in 2021. He joins “Sam Harris’ coaching staff as a forwards specialist and is ecstatic about the opportunity to lead the young, athletic AG’s forward pack and a deep stable of dynamic props.”
Jamie’s return to professional rugby in the United States made an immediate physical impact in the Gilgronis scrum in 2020. In three matches he played 207 minutes, carried 24 times for 69 meters. He made 15 tackles (93.7%) and Whoppa lead the quad in ruck arrivals with 97. In the week 5 Texas Cup win over the Houston SaberCats, he earned MLR First XV of the Week honors.
Jamie will play for Otago in the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup prior to joining the Gilgronis.
Jamie is from Invercargill, New Zealand, and attended Southland Boys’ High School. He played rugby for the Southland Stags from 2004-2015, making 123 appearances and scoring 70 points. In 2008 he helped the team to make the finals for the first time in the Air New Zealand Cup. In 2009 the team won the Ranfurly Shield and then repeated in 2011.
He played for the New Zealand Colts nine times between 2005-2006 and made his debut for the New Zealand All Blacks (#1081) against Scotland on November 8, 2008, at Murrayfield.
Jamie played Super Rugby for the Highlanders from 2007-2013 and for the Chiefs during the 2014-2015 season. He then played in the French Top 14 league with Montpellier during the 2015-2016 season before playing with the now-defunct PRO Rugby Ohio Aviators in 2016. From 2016-2019 he has played with Pau in the Top 14 and returned to Montpellier in 2019. He also played twice with the Barbarian FC between 2015-2018.
Now he is reunited with his Ohio Aviators teammates, Roland Suniula and Chris Schade.
Jamie Mackintosh 2016 Interview with Ohio Aviators
Mackintosh said to FloRugby’s Alex Rees. “I loved the culture of rugby in America and the guys were so hungry to learn and be better, so I always had it in the back of my mind to get back.”
Austin Gilgronis Comments
“I’m thrilled to have two roles, one as a coach and my main role obviously will be playing,” says Mackintosh. “I can’t wait to connect with the new boys and the new coaching staff and get on the road to winning the MLR.”
“Jamie’s playing record speaks for itself, and he still has a lot to offer on the field,” says AG’s head coach Sam Harris. “His experience and knowledge will be a great tool for our young forwards, but it’s Jamie’s passion and energy for coaching that really excites me though.”
“Whopper is going to be an awesome addition to our young and hungry coaching group,” says Harris. “I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Mackintosh is currently training in Dunedin with the Otago Rugby Club ahead of the Mitre 10 competition which is set to kick off in September.