Brumbies back Mack Hansen has agreed to join Irish club Connacht at the end of the 2021 Super Rugby season.
The Canberra-raised Hansen came through the Brumbies system after being first recognised as a talented schoolboy at Daramalan College.
Signed by the Brumbies straight out of school in 2018, the former Junior Wallaby honed his craft for the Gungahlin Eagles in the John I Dent Cup before making his Super Rugby debut against the NSW Waratahs in 2019.
2020 was a breakout year for the 23-year-old, earning his starting debut at fullback against the Melbourne Rebels before famously kicking the winning penalty goal to defeat the Queensland Reds after the 80th minute in front of the Brumbies family at GIO Stadium.
Brumby number 216, the versatile Hansen has started every game in 2021 on the wing, scoring a hat-trick in the record-breaking win over the Waratahs in Round Two.
Brumbies back Mack Hansen said: "I'd firstly like to thank everyone involved at the Brumbies and in the ACT Rugby community for giving me the opportunity to live out my boyhood dream representing this club."
"As a proud Canberran all I ever wanted was to pull on the Brumbies jersey and to be able to represent our region.
"The opportunity to be able to travel the world and continue to play the game I love overseas was one that was difficult to turn down and I hope to be back playing here in Canberra in the future."
"Having an experience outside of Canberra, not just as a rugby player but as a person as well is something I'm excited about but I'll be keeping a keen eye on how the boys go back home and hope to be back one day."
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: "We're really disappointed Mack won't be at the club next season but understand his desire as a young man to want to see the world and experience a new culture."
"It's one of the real advantages of our international game and I'm sure Mack will continue to grow as a player and person through that experience.
Commenting on the announcement, Connacht's Head Coach Andy Friend says:
“Securing the signing of Mack Hansen is a real coup for Connacht Rugby. 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.
Mack Hansen says he’s hugely looking forward to joining up with Connacht:
“I am delighted to be making this move and signing for Connacht Rugby. 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.”
"He's a real character of our squad and no doubt will be missed by the team and the organisation and we really hope to see him back at the Brumbies in the not too distant future."