Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy.

Leinster scrum-half McCarthy set for move to the US after Eagles call-up

The 28-year-old was born in Michigan and played underage rugby for Ireland.

LEINSTER SCRUM-HALF Nick McCarthy has been called up to the USA Eagles’ 54-man training squad ahead of their three-Test tour of Europe in August.

28-year-old McCarthy was born in Michigan in the US but moved to Ireland with his family when he was young and played for the Ireland U18s and U20s as he rose through the Irish rugby ranks.

The former St Michael’s College student broke through with Leinster and then spent two seasons with Munster from 2019 to 2021 before returning to Leinster for the last two seasons, making 15 appearances in the current campaign so far.

However, it’s understood that McCarthy is now set for a move to play his club rugby in the US with a Major League Rugby team next season as he pursues a Test rugby future with the Eagles.

McCarthy could even join current Leinster team-mate Dave Kearney and Connacht wing Adam Byrne in Chicago, with both Irishmen strongly linked with a move to the Hounds.

McCarthy has been named in the latest Eagles squad by interim head coach Scott Lawrence as the USA begin their rebuild after missing out on qualification for this year’s World Cup.

The Eagles will play against Romania, Portugal, and Georgia in August when McCarthy will hope to make his Test debut.

He is just the latest Irishman to be integrated into the Eagles set-up. Lawrence’s squad also includes current internationals AJ MacGinty, Dylan Fawsitt, Luke Carty, and Paul Mullen.

There are two other uncapped Irish players in the squad, with former UCC second row Ben Mitchell and ex-Connacht academy hooker Pat O’Toole also named in the 54-player group.

Youghal man Mitchell was born without any fingers on his left hand and had complex surgery whereby the surgeons took the second toe from each of his feet and transplanted them onto the hand. He has forged a fine career in rugby, moving to the US in 2018 and now qualifying on residency grounds. 29-year-old Mitchell, who is currently with the Seattle Seawolves in the MLR, has already played for the USA Selects team, a developmental national side.

Mayo man O’Toole previously played for the Ireland U19s and came through Connacht’s academy before making the move to the US in 2018. The hooker has played for San Diego Legion, the Houston SaberCats, and now NOLA Gold in the MLR. O’Toole has also featured for the USA Selects side.

They will now hope to push through to win their first USA caps along with McCarthy.

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