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Spr Cameron McDonald (RE) may have had mixed emotions when the final whistle blew at Twickenham, but he was still able to reflect on what has been a memorable 12 months for the young Sapper.

A year before, Spr McDonald was on his feet to cheer on his brother, Michael, as he crossed for the try that clinched the 2022 Inter Service Championship title.

In 2023 the name ‘McDonald’ was still on the scoresheet, albeit with a ‘3’ next to it, with Cameron making a bit of Twickenham history by scoring a hat trick on his debut at the home of England rugby.

The first two helped the Army come back from an early deficit to take the lead, with the third keeping the red shirts in touch with the Royal Navy. Unfortunately the efforts were somewhat in vain, as the dark blues went on to record the victory and regain the Championship crown.

The ‘McDonald Corner.’  Mikey in 2022 and Cameron in 2023.

Images © Alligin Photography – Army v Navy Match

Nevertheless, a phlegmatic Spr McDonald could put his individual achievements into context.

“It was difficult because the Navy deserved to win,” he said. “Obviously it was nice to play at Twickenham alongside my brother, and to score a hat trick, so there are happy emotions there, but it was also disappointing to lose.

“There’s massive motivation to come back next year. Now that I’ve experienced losing on this stage it makes your desire to win all the greater. I believe that the Army will have that feeling next year.”

The hat trick was just the latest in Spr McDonald’s list of individual achievements, which began by helping the Royal Engineers win their first Corps Championship title in seven years.

That was Spr McDonald’s first game in Corps colours, too, having only completed his signing on into the Reserves shortly before. It kick-started a rapid rise through the Army rugby ranks, which included representing the Sevens team, then the Sappers’ retention of the Corps title, and finally his first senior cap in the win over the French Army in Aldershot.

There was more, too, with Spr McDonald having his name added onto the Army Rugby honours board when he made his full international debut for Germany in the Rugby Europe International Championship, having also played for the German national Sevens team earlier in the season.

Cameron, along with his brother Mikey, has been capped by Germany in both the 7s and 15s game and were both part of the Royal Engineers team to win back to back Corps Championships in 2022 and 2023.

Images (L) provided by Michael McDonald (R) Alligin Photography © Andrew Fosker

It is a breathless list, the winger acknowledges, and one which would not have been possible had he not signed up to serve.

“It’s crazy to think that at the same point last year I was sat in the stands,” he says. “I watched Michael score at the end of the game and thought ‘I want to join the Army now!’ So I joined up with the goal of getting to Twickenham and it’s been a great journey.

“When you say it together it sounds pretty good! It’s been a great journey, like I said, and I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Army. It’s given me that opportunity to have a day job, this as my source of rugby, and the other opportunities to develop my rugby. It’s helped me both in military and civilian terms.

“Playing for Germany has been a massive privilege, and hopefully that can continue for a long time.”

There are rugby opportunities at Unit, Corps and red shirt levels within the British Army. To find out more visit the relevant pages of

Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks

Header and featured images – Alligin Photography © Army v Navy Match