Jermaine Ainsley was arguably always destined to play international rugby however perhaps not necessarily for Australia given that his father Joe McDonnell played eight Tests for New Zealand. Born in the small, south island town of Clyde, Ainsley literally scrummaged before he could walk. ‘A true New Zealand prop’ with a preference for tighthead, the hard-working Ainsley also has the ability to carry the ball and step like a midfielder. Ainsley boarded at Otago Boys’ High School and was plucked from the Third XV at the beginning of year 12. He went on to star as OBHS won its way into the 2012 national final. His family moved to Perth in 2013 however Ainsley stayed in Dunedin, earned a second season in the 1st XV and then emigrated after he graduated. Once in the West, Ainsley played in the local colts completion for Nedlands. A breakout 2015 season saw him win a place on the Perth Spirit’s NRC roster. From there he joined the Western Force ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season and made his senior representative debut against the Rebels in Perth. A dislocated left elbow saw Ainsley miss two months of the 2017 Super Rugby season however so impressive was he upon his return that he won inclusion in the Wallabies 38-man training squad for the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup. Later that year he made his debut for Australia in the uncapped match against the Barbarians in Sydney but unfortunately suffered an ankle syndesmosis injury and was ruled out of consideration for the Spring Tour. Ainsley moved to the Melbourne Rebels in 2018 and committed his future to Australian Rugby when he re-signed until the end of 2020.