Connacht sign versatile Irish-qualified Brumbies back

Date published: April 21 2021

Connacht have announced the signing of versatile Australian back Mack Hansen, who will join them from Super Rugby side the Brumbies.

Hansen, whose mother hails from Cork, can play across the back three or as fly-half and has played a key role in the Brumbies’ Super Rugby AU campaign this season, featuring in all eight games and scoring three tries.

The 23-year-old came through the ranks at the Australian side, playing for Canberra’s Daramalan School and later the Canberra Vikings before moving on to the professional ranks in 2018, while also representing the Australian U20s in the World Cup that same year.

Hansen was handed his full debut for the Brumbies in March 2019, coming off the bench in a win over the Waratahs. Despite the disruption of the Super Rugby calendar due to Covid-19, he has been an ever-present member of the squad since his first start last July.

The back was named Super Rugby Player of the Round in Round 2 after scoring a hat-trick in their win over the Waratahs. He has made 11 clean breaks this season, putting him in second place for most clean breaks by any player across both Super Rugby leagues, and sits in the top 10 for most metres carried.

Two-year deal

“Securing the signing of Mack Hansen is a real coup for Connacht Rugby,” said head coach Andy Friend.

“I have been following his progress for a long time and he has all the attributes to become a really important player for us. As well as his playmaking abilities, he is a physically strong and tall player who can easily adapt to the demands of northern hemisphere rugby.

“His versatility and ability to play all across the back field as well as a number 10 is also a big plus for us. I’m looking forward to welcoming him to The Sportsground and integrating him into our playing squad over the summer.”

Hansen, who has signed a two-year deal and will link up with the squad for 2021/22 pre-season, is hugely looking forward to the switch.

“I am delighted to be making this move and signing for Connacht Rugby,” he said.

“Obviously, I have strong family ties to Ireland, so that was an immediate positive for me, but after chatting to Andy I became really excited by both the brand of rugby that Connacht play, as well as the ambition of the club to succeed in the years ahead. I want to play my part in that, and I can’t wait to link up with the squad and get settled in the West of Ireland.”