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Josh McNally signs to add bulk to Cardiff pack

First Team News | 4th July 2024

Cardiff Rugby have added bulk to the pack with the signing of Josh McNally.

The 6ft 7ins, 19.6 stone second-row arrives at the Arms Park following five seasons at Bath.

McNally made 84 appearances during that time and featured at the Arms Park in the Investec Champions Cup last December, but he will now swap Blue, Black and White for the famous Blue and Black.

He said: “I’m really thankful for the opportunity to join Cardiff, and can’t wait to get involved. Cardiff has such a great history, and a city that is fully behind the Club.

“Having spent part of my career at London Welsh, and all my wife’s family originating in Wales, I have always been in awe of the passion for rugby in Wales, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the capital.

“After talking with Jockey, and Corniel, the opportunity immediately excited me. The brand of rugby Cardiff are starting to play, and the squad being assembled, is something I can’t wait to contribute to.

“I would like to thank the Royal Air Force, for allowing me the opportunity to come here. They have been full supportive my entire career, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Sergeant McNally, an RAF technician took his first steps towards professional rugby when he joined Henley Hawks in 2012, which gave him the platform to progress to London Welsh in 2014, on the RAF’s Elite Athlete Program. Josh joined London Irish in 2017, before moving to the Rec in 2019.

The 33-year-old became a key figure in the West Country thanks to his sizeable physical presence, leadership credentials and tireless work-rate.

This earned him a call-up to the England squad in 2021, and Matt Sherratt believes he will be another key senior signing following the likes of Callum Sheedy, Ed Byrne and Dan Thomas.

Matt Sherratt said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring someone of Josh’s quality to the Arms Park both in terms of his playing ability and as a leader around our environment.

“With so many senior figures moving on or retiring in recent years, it was really important to bring in players with experience  and leadership ability from top environments and I believe we have managed to do that.

“Josh has been a key figure on and off the pitch during the past five seasons at Bath and his former coaches and teammates cannot speak highly enough of him.

“He is a big second-row, who brings a physical presence but he is also a good all-round athlete, is strong technically and a real lineout tactician. He will bring undoubted quality to us on the pitch and be an important figure in helping some of our younger players.”