Saracens revealed today they are leasing out two players to Championship side Bedford Blues – and one of those players will be of particular interest to Irish Rugby.
Saracens academy players Jack Nay and Tadgh McElroy will be joining Greene King IPA Championship side on season-long loans.
The duo follow in the footsteps of a number of ex-academy players who have benefitted from regular rugby at Goldington Road including Owen Farrell, George Kruis and Jackson Wray.
Nay, 21, featured six times for the Blues last season while McElroy, also 21, will appear for a second-tier outfit for the first time having played for Old Albanian in National One last term.
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McElroy will be of interest to Irish Rugby fans, after he was dropped from the Irish U20s squad in controversial fashion in 2017. In May last year McElroy was offered a place in the Connacht academy, but instead opted for the Aviva Premiership giants.
McElroy – a native of Dundalk – is qualified to play for England.
At the time, despite having not officially confirmed as having signed for the London club, the IRFU saw it fit to remove him from the panel for the upcoming U20s World Championship.
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) May 29, 2017
The 5’11, 106kg 20-year-old played for hometown club Dundalk RFC and Lansdowne RFC in the Ireland’s AIL. He was the starting hooker for the Ireland U20s in last year’s U20s Six Nations, scoring three tries.
Despite this, he was not offered a place in the Leinster academy programme.
Saracens Academy Manager Mike Hynard said: “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.
“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.”
The next question for McElroy will be whether or not declare for Ireland or for England.
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