Rugby ATL Names Alex MacDonald Community Outreach Director

The Rugby ATL Ratlers has named Alex MacDonald as their new Community Outreach Director. He was the 2020 Major League Rugby Game Changer Award Winner while playing for Rugby United New York and will look to develop all players and coaches in the Southeast region with his new “Rugby Experience” campaign.

To connect with Alex or to find out more about his campaign, please email him at amacdonald@rugbyatl.rugby or visit our website: www.rugbyatl.rugby

The Rugby Experience

Alex MacDonald shared more about the “Rugby Experience” and his role as Community Outreach Director indicating that “Pathway 404 is presenting an opportunity for players and coaches to learn in a professional environment under the direction of Major League Rugby & United States National team coaches, medical and performance staff. Our new and unique ‘Rugby Experience’ that I’m offering is for university and high school clubs to attend a weekend camp in Atlanta to create exposure for their players, give players a chance for a rugby weekend with their college teammates, and continue to drive the growth of the elite sport in the Southeast. This also leads into the invitation-only Winter Preseason Readiness Camp, a 10 Day Residency with Rugby ATL for college students preparing for their spring seasons and hopes of playing in the MLR.”

Alex MacDonald Player Profile

Alex will be playing for 404 Rugby ATL during Fall 2020 and hopes that his performance leads to an MLR contract. He recently was named Rugby ATL Community Outreach Director, a position that he held with Rugby United New York.

The 27-year-old flanker/lock is 6’4″ and 230 lbs. During the 2020 MLR season, Alex was injured during the final preseason match and did not play during the truncated regular season. However, he continued to make contributions in promoting rugby in the TriState Rugby Community.

During 2019, Alex earned 15 Rooster caps as Rooster #17 in his first professional rugby season. He spent 769 minutes on the pitch, made 137 tackles, and was one of the team leaders in ‘dominant tackles’ with 13. Alex scored one try, carried 59 times for 200 meters.

During the offseason, he played for Old Blue in the American Rugby Premiership and worked with the RUNY front office as the Community Outreach Coordinator. His responsibility is to spend time at various local schools and rugby clubs in leading rugby drills and in sharing RUNY club values.

Alex attended Hilton Head High School and played football for one year at tight end and linebacker. He also was on the track team where he threw the discus. In 2012 he was honored as the Theodore Whitaker male athlete of the year.

Following his graduation from Hilton Head in 2012, he attended The Citadel, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. His first season with the club was a learning experience for the team and by his Senior year, the team became the Southern Rugby Conference Champions and advanced to the USA Rugby National Collegiate 7s Division II Championship in Cary, NC.

Alex played rugby for four years at The Citadel and was the president and captain of the team. He was selected to the Southern Rugby Conference All-Conference team in both 2014 and 2015. In 2015 he also was selected to the South Rugby Conference Sevens All-Conference team.

The Citadel is known for building leaders. Alex was an outstanding student while in college. He was on the Dean’s List 7 times, earned Gold Star status 3 times for having a GPA of 3.7 or higher, and was on both the Commandant’s and the President’s list which combined both leadership and academic excellence.

After graduating from the Citadel, he enrolled at Life University in 2016 and graduated the following year with a Master’s Degree in Positive Psychology. He played rugby for Life and helped the team reach the D1A Championship losing narrowly to Saint Mary’s, and was recognized twice as a Collegiate All-American. Alex also coached the Atlanta Youth Rugby Under-19s while at Life.

Alex then moved to Dublin, Ireland, and has played on the first team at Trinity College since 2017 in the All-Ireland League. The Trinity team has a tremendous group of coaches in Tony Smeeth, Gareth Pickering, and Hugh Maguire. Alex is also a House Master and Rugby Coach at Blackrock College.

Alex has progressively been exposed to higher-level rugby competition and now joins Rugby United New York as a professional player. He is used to that environment from playing in Ireland and the Irish connection with RUNY keeps getting stronger.

Tommy Duffy, The Citadel Rugby Coach, Comments

Alex was one of the most unique players I’ve coached. He was a natural leader…(and that’s saying a lot from a school that develops leaders) from the moment I met him on the campus at the Citadel. I’m not at all shocked he is where he is today. He never saw obstacles, just opportunities and he thrived and excelled in competition. He has a rare quality of not only believing in himself but his genuine belief in others. And lifting those players around him to what he saw in them. He became a great student of the game. Alex was always pushing himself to get better. He believed that he would always leave the pitch better than when he walked on, whether practice or a game. I got to spend a lot of time with him over the years at the Citadel. From driving to USA development camps to conference matches, we always had our Irish tunes playing. All I can say is that Alex set the high standard to what I push all of my players to be still to this day. He is a warrior-poet…. and it was a great honor in my life to coach a man like Alex.

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