RUGBY | McElroy completes his move to European Champions Cup holders
O’Hanlon Park teenager will join up with Saracens academy
Dundalk teenager Tadgh McElroy’s transfer to reigning European Champions Cup holders Saracens was confirmed last Friday.
The 19-year-old, who started his rugby career with Dundalk RFC, will join up with the London club’s senior academy after making the move from Lansdowne.
McElroy played a starring role in this year’s U20 Six Nations, scoring three tries in five games, and was due to travel to Georgia with the Irish panel for the World Championship last week.
However, his decision to turn down a move to the Connacht Academy resulted in him being withdrawn from Peter Malone’s panel by the IRFU. McElroy could be considered for the English national team through one of his grandparents.
Saracens academy manager Mike Hynard told the club’s website that they were delighted to have secured the Irish U20 hooker’s signature.
“Tadgh is a highly-rated prospect and we’re very happy that he will be joining our academy system. He’s a powerful player, a very good ball-carrier and is strong at the set-piece.
“We’re looking forward to helping Tadgh settle in at Saracens and help him fulfil his potential both on and off the field.”
Speaking on his management’s website, the O’Hanlon Park youngster expressed his delight at signing for the ‘best club in Europe’.
“I am delighted to have signed for the best club team in Europe currently.
“It will take me out of my comfort zone and challenge me 100% and I have no doubt it is the best place for me to develop as a player in a winning environment with excellent coaches.
“I want to thank everyone in Dundalk RFC for all the support and coaching over the years and all the underage coaches I have worked with in Leinster Youths, Leinster and at Ireland U20s.
“A big thanks to Mike Ruddock and Lansdowne for picking me out of Dundalk and giving me the shot to play AIL rugby. I hope I repaid that faith.”
Despite the move, McElroy showed that he has not forgotten his roots by showing up at the club’s underage awards night at the Mill Road on Saturday night to present medals to the U9 and U11 Mini teams.