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Row erupts in Irish rugby as U20s player excluded in wake of possible Saracens deal

By Ian Cameron
Ireland are competing this week for the Junior Rugby World Cup, but they will do so without Tadgh McElroy.

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A row has erupted in Irish rugby after a talented age grade hooker was removed from their U20s panel set to compete at the Junior World Cup in Georgia this week after he was reported to have penned a deal to move to European champions Saracens.

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It’s been widely reported that Tadgh McElroy was offered a place in the Connacht academy, but instead opted for Aviva Premiership giants Saracens.

McElroy – a native of Dundalk – is qualified to play for England, and although he has not yet been officially confirmed as having signed for the London club, the IRFU saw it fit to remove him from the panel for the championship.

The panel of RTE’s Against the Head addressed the issue on Monday.

The 5’11, 104kg 19-year-old played for hometown club Dundalk RFC and more recently for Lansdowne RFC in the AIL. He was the starting hooker for the Ireland U20s in this year’s U20s Six Nations, scoring three tries.

Despite this he was not offered a place in the Leinster academy programme.

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