Matarazzo Drafted #8 Overall by Atlanta

In the inaugural Collegiate Rugby Draft for Major League Rugby, 2 year captain Mike Matarazzo was drafted with the 8th Pick in the 1st Round by RUGBY ATL, signaling the first ever Notre Dame player to be drafted in the MLR. Over 400 college rugby players declared for the draft, vying for a chance to be selected in one of the 24 picks, and the opportunity to sign a professional contract.

Matarazzo joined the Irish as a freshman in the 2016-17 school year, after a decorated high school athletic career, which led to him being a highly recruited and sought after baseball prospect. His athletic ability, work ethic and leadership qualities attributed to his rapid development in the sport of rugby, and his place within the team. After his sophomore year, Mike was named Honorable Mention All American, he served as team captain his junior and senior seasons, and was the Club President his senior year. Mike will be the first Notre Dame graduate to play professionally in the United States league, with Nick Civetta ('11) of course, paving the way as he continues his professional career in France and with the USA National Team.

Scott Lawrence, Head Coach of Rugby ATL after drafting Mike, "We couldn't be more delighted with our very first draft pick. Mike exemplifies exactly what we're looking to develop on and off the field." Coach Hickey on Mike's selection, "I'm incredibly proud of Mike! Rugby ATL is getting an outstanding athlete and an even better young man. Coach Lawrence and his staff are world class, and there are few environments in the United States as well equipped to continue to further Mike's growth and development, both on and off the field than what they've established in Atlanta."

Prior to the 2021 Major League Rugby season, Mike will compete for Durham University of England, where he accepted a scholarship for his graduate studies. This will provide Mike a great opportunity to develop ahead of the next MLR season, and continue his academic career before joining Rugby ATL full time next spring.

Please join us in congratulating Mike, and wishing him all the best in his professional rugby career!


On behalf of University of Notre Dame Rugby, we extend our congratulations to Mike, and couldn't be more proud of his accomplishments. Mike served as a great leader for the club, and we look forward to following his career in Atlanta, and cheering him on.


Justin Hickey

University of Notre Dame
Director of Rugby
Men's Head Coach


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