Ex-Ireland U20 hooker McElroy leaves Saracens on season-long loan

The Dundalk man will link up with Championship side Bedford Blues for the 2018/19 campaign.

FORMER IRELAND U20 hooker Tadgh McElroy has joined Championship club Bedford Blues on a season-long loan from Saracens.

The Dundalk man signed for Premiership champions Saracens in 2017, having shone for the Ireland U20s in five starts in that year’s Six Nations campaign.

inpho_01175218 McElroy spent time in Leinster's sub-academy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

McElroy missed out on involvement in the World Rugby U20 Championship, however, after a disagreement with the IRFU, who were keen for the hooker to join Connacht’s academy.

The 21-year-old, who is also English-qualified, earned his Saracens debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last season, making three appearances in the competition. A positive first season led to Saracens offering McElroy a one-year extension to his academy contract.

With Mark McCall having England’s Jamie George, France international Christopher Tolofua, Scott Spurling and new signing Tom Woolstencroft to choose from at hooker in his senior Saracens squad this season, McElroy will now continue his development with a loan move.

Saracens have strong links with Bedford, with the likes of England internationals Owen Farrell and George Kruis having previously spent time on loan at the Championship club.

McElroy will be playing alongside former Leinster lock Mark Flanagan in Bedford, with the second row having signed permanently for the Blues from Saracens this summer. Ex-Leinster prop Sean McCarthy is also part of Bedford’s squad.

Saracens academy back row Jack Nay joins McElroy in heading to Bedford on a season-long loan.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for both players to continue their development with a club we have a very close relationship with, who consistently perform well at the top of the Championship,” said Saracens academy manager Mike Hynard.

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“Several previous academy players have used this opportunity as a springboard for their development and we hope Jack and Tadgh enjoy the challenge of the Championship this season and go on to reach their full potential.”

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Murray Kinsella

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