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London Irish sign hooker Tadgh McElroy on a season-long loan

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by London Irish)

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London Irish have completed the loan signing of former Irish U20s international Tadgh McElroy for the rest of the season. McElroy has joined from Ealing Trailfinders, after previous spells with Premiership duo Bristol Bears and Saracens, amongst others.

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Director of rugby Declan Kidney said: “After Reece Marshall’s unfortunate injury last weekend, which will rule him out for a couple of weeks, we are pleased to welcome Tadgh for the rest of the season, to improve competition at hooker.”

Irish signed Marshall on December 7 on a short-term loan deal from Northampton to provide injury cover but the 27-year-old was hurt in the Challenge Cup win over Pau on his debut.  

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McElroy has had a curious 2021 in England. It was March when he pitched up on trial at Bristol and after that stint came to nought by the summer, he was snapped up by Ealing and he has since played two Championship matches and scored three tries for the Trailfinders in his appearances from the bench. Now Irish has snapped up McElroy.  

The hooker first came to England in 2017 when he joined the Saracens academy. He made the move back to Ireland two years later and his form for club side Clontarf had been promising until the All-Ireland League shut down in March 2020.

That left the 24-year-old in limbo until Pat Lam decided to take a look at what the front-rower might have to offer. “He he has done really well,” said Lam to RugbyPass last June before the decision was taken for McElroy to try his luck elsewhere. “The Tadgh McElroy that arrived, that was training by himself up near Dundalk, it was really difficult (for him) to be able to come here and grow.

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“But physically and as a person, he has really enjoyed it and come through. I’m really pleased with the progress that he has made. There is a lot more progress for him to make obviously, but he has come in and been a really good person in the group.”

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