My name is Zack McCartney. I have played rugby all my life and I am currently completing my final year at secondary school. I want to go to college in America to further my education in Business and ICT. I also aim to improve my level of rugby ability through the high standards of coaching in USA. I have great hopes in playing rugby for many years to come but also know the importance of education and that is why I am equally as focussed on the academic side of things and not just the sporting aspect.
During my school years I have started in the first choice team from the age of 11. In fifth form when I was 15 years old I earned my way onto the starting first 15 in the back row. I also started for the same team the following year in the same position and now I am in my final year of senior rugby at school and I am starting number 8. When I was fifteen years old I was selected for ulster (u16) trials where I got selected to go into the age grade training programme over the summer. The following year (U17) I played up a year for the (U18) side where we competed in three competitive games against Munster, Leinster and Connaught and the USA EIRA team. This summer I played for the (U18) side again where we played the same teams as the previous year. In June 2023 I underwent trials for a rugby 7's team called 'The Causeway Barbarians'. We trained for several weeks for a tour to Austria at the ,United World Games' were I was the vice captain for the squad. We earned ourselves a spot in the final against USA's Rhino Rugby Academy where we were narrowly beaten in the end. Having played in various different teams with several different players from around the country I believe I will thrive in the USA meeting new people and adding value to any team I am involved in on and off the field.
Ulster u16, u17, u18 (1st 15)
Coleraine Grammar school (1st 15)
Causeway Barbarians (rugby 7’s)
Additional sporting info
I have played rugby for 13 years in Ireland. I have represented many different teams as listed above and believe I will add value to whatever team I play for with my leadership qualities, rugby skill and my knowledge of the game. I have also played Gaelic football which I feel have tremendously improved my fitness levels and handling skills.
Gym personal bests:
Bench press (1rep)-230lbs
Back squat (5rep)-260lbs
What makes you different?
I have played rugby for most of my life. As a forward I feel I am both physical and skilful meaning I am not a one dimensional player and I feel I have a very strong knowledge of the game also. I feel that I display strong leadership qualities and naturally find myself leading by example, helping younger players in the squad and improving their knowledge of the game. I am willing to put in the extra hours with my teammates to benefit the whole team in the long run. Playing in multiple different teams, with different aged players and touring different countries makes me different as a rugby player as I feel that no matter the setting or scenario I can preform to the highest of my ability.
Why do you want to compete in college?
I want to compete in college rugby to meet new people from all around America and other countries also. By competing in college rugby in the states I feel that I can work with my coaches and take my level of rugby ability a whole new step above. Rugby in America is growing massively and by playing college rugby I feel that I can add value to whatever team I play for and I will work with my coaches and teammates to do so.
My goals in college are to gain a successful education throughout my four years that will set me up for later in life. Sport will be a massive part of my college experience but I know the hard work has to be done in the classroom as well, meaning my goal is to work extremely hard on the academic side of college. From a rugby perspective my goals are to add value through my knowledge of the game, leading by example and doing extra work overtime. With these goals set in stone I hope to play in a team that will win as many games as possible throughout my college experience.