Michael Smith joins MacDowellRugby Island Academy Coaching Staff

MacDowellRugby Island Academy is pleased to welcome Canadian International back rower Michael Smith who will be joining our coaching roster in the fall as our specialist forwards and defensive coach.

Michael was born in Vernon, British Columbia but ultimately grew up in South Surrey. While playing ice hockey, soccer, and various other sports as a kid, Michael equally began playing rugby in the eighth grade at Earl Marriott Secondary. Throughout his highschool career he played for the Fraser Valley and Vancouver South rep teams in the PRCs as well as for team BC at the national tournaments, he then went on to play 4 years at the University of British Columbia. Michael was first brought onto the national circuit at the U17 level and continued to play until U20 while pursuing his studies. After graduating from UBC in 2020, he joined the Pacific Pride/Canadian Development Academy out of Victoria and from there was signed to the San Diego Legion Major League Rugby team where he is currently competing. Michael has also earned 5 caps for the Senior Men’s Canadian Team as a phenomenal back rower.



Coaching Expertise


Through Pacific Sport, Michael has had the opportunity to coach youth rugby in the Fraser Valley, but has mainly focused on mentorship of young student athletes both in highschool and university. “I’m hoping to continue to bring that student athlete experience to the table for these athletes as well as a perspective on the transition to high performance and professional rugby as well”.


We are excited to have Michael join the MacDowellRugby program as he is furthering his studies in UBC Medicine in the island Medical Program out of UVIC this fall. About the MacDowellRugby Academy Michael says - “I am a huge proponent of the student athlete model as it allows kids to participate in sport with a focused group of like-minded athletes while they also prioritize their education and life opportunities outside of the sport. Bringing more support into this model is essential for helping grow the game locally”.



Michael hopes to bring some guidance to the young student athletes in the MacDowellRugby Island Academy program about what it’s like to play for a university, a national team, and a professional rugby league while simultaneously providing some on-field position specific advice.


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