AG’s RE-SIGN PROP JAMIE ‘WHOPPA’ MACKINTOSH AS PLAYER-COACH
AUSTIN, TX (August 10th, 2020) Austin Gilgronis is excited to announce the re-signing of New Zealand All-Black prop Jamie ‘Whoppa’ Mackintosh. Mackintosh will also join 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.
“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.”
AG’s head coach Sam Harris is delighted to add another international-level player to the coaching staff; alongside recently announced assistant coach, Mark Gerrard.
“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.”
Mackintosh joined the AG’s in February of 2020 ahead of a week three regular-season clash with the Utah Warriors. Mackintosh earned the starting job at loosehead prop and held down the spot for the following three matches until COVID forced season cancellation.
The 6’4” 290lbs giant made a noticeable physical impact in the AG’s front row; along with the added scrum savvy on the training pitch. In just three matches, Mackintosh tallied 207 minutes and 69 meters on 24 carries. On defense, Mackintosh racked up 15 tackles at a 93.7% clip. Most surprisingly, the ‘Whoppa’ led the squad in ruck arrivals with 97 in only three matches. Mackintosh’s impressive week five performance earned himself MLR’s First XV of the Week honors on top of a Texas Cup win over state-rival Houston Sabercats.
The 35-year-old brings heaps of energy to the team on the field and in the clubhouse. Whoppa is always chatting strategy and micro-details and is ripe for a role as player-coach.
“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.
Mackintosh made 123 appearances for the Southland Stags from 2004-2015 and is the longest-serving captain in the club’s history. He captained the All Blacks to two U21 IRB World Cup titles in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, he earned a Super Rugby call-up to the Highlanders and would go on to tally 67 appearances at loosehead prop through 6 seasons. In 2008, Mackintosh earned an All Black cap against Scotland. After a two-year and 22 appearance stint with the Chiefs, Whoppa shipped off to the Top 14 for a season with Montpellier.
In 2016, the loosehead prop was then lured to the United States with the Ohio Aviators of the now-defunct PRO Rugby league. Mackintosh led the Aviators to the Cup Final, the league folded, and the prop went back to France to join Pau on a two-year deal.
“My first experience with the first pro competition up in Ohio was so amazing and my relationship with the boys and everything- it was such a cool team,” 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.”
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