Mike MacDonald, the USA Eagles most-capped player, announced his retirement from rugby today. The loosehead prop has been a fixture on the Eagles roster for the past 15 years.
“It’s the right time to focus on the future,” MacDonald said. “I’ve been battling injuries for the last couple of seasons and it has limited my training and playing. I just got married, I’m settling back into the Bay Area with my beautiful wife, Mairin, and I’m looking at life beyond the rugby pitch.”
The 33-year-old made his first appearance against Fiji in 2000. He went on to earn 67 caps and play in 3 Rugby World Cups. He set the mark for most caps when he surpassed the previous record of 62 caps held by a former teammate Luke Gross.
MacDonald made a name for himself while playing at University of California. MacDonald played for the Warriors and Leeds Carnegie in England. He was the Leeds captain in 2008/09 and helped the team earn a promotion to the English Premiership.
During his career with the U.S. national team, MacDonald has played with some of the best all-time including Dan Lyle, Dave Hodges, Kort Schubert, Paul Emerick and Alec Parker.
Cal head coach and former Eagles coach Jack Clark called MacDonald’s career ‘unprecedented.’ His love for the game has not ended with his hanging up his cleats, however, as MacDonald is currently an assistant coach at his alma mater, Cal.