RAF Serviceman Joins Rugby Union Side London Irish
Royal Air Force weapons handler Josh McNally has joined London Irish having spent more than two seasons at London Welsh.
The RAF corporal, who is based at Brize Norton, has been released from his duty in order to play for the Exiles, and could be making his debut in Saturday’s British and Irish Cup trip to Connacht Eagles.
And he'll find himself in good company at his new club, in the form of Army player Senitiki Nayalo.
The Fijian back row, a gunner with 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, joined the Sunbury based team last October and has already made a name for himself…
Standing at 6 ft 7”, McNally has played an integral role in the RAF Rugby Union 1st XV for the past six years, who in 2015 won the inter-service championship for the first time in 24 years.
McNally's try for his former club, London Welsh, against Cardiff Blues Premiership Select was the pick of the bunch, the score sparking an astonishing comeback, as Welsh overturned a 22-point deficit in the last 19 minutes of the British and Irish Cup contest.
Whilst serving in the RAF, McNally has ensured his credentials as a quality second-row, representing the RAF in the inaugural International Defence Rugby Competition in Australia and New Zealand as well as playing for the Combined Services against the Barbarians in the prestigious annual Remembrance Day fixture in 2013.
Speaking about the move, 19 stone McNally told LITIV:
“I really enjoyed my time at London Welsh and they gave me the opportunity to cut my teeth in the professional game which I’m hugely grateful for
“I’m really happy to be here – the facilities are absolutely amazing here and I’m looking forward to getting involved.
“Speaking to Nick Kennedy filled me with a lot of positivity and he made it clear that he wanted me here and wants me to progress at London Irish.”
Whilst Irish Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Josh to London Irish and we are looking forward to seeing him in action for the club.
“I’ve monitored Josh’s development closely in recent years, even before his move to London Welsh and he’s impressed me with a skill-set that will significantly improve the team.
“His composure, ball carrying and work-rate as well possessing both Premiership and Championship experience will be invaluable for us as we enter the second half of the season.”