JUST IN: Former Bath Rugby captain joins United Rugby Championship side

Josh McNally, who was released by Bath Rugby this summer after five seasons at the Recreation Ground, has signed with United Rugby Championship side Cardiff Rugby.

The 6ft 7in, 19.6 stone second-row joins Cardiff after making 84 appearances for Bath, including several as captain. Before his time with Bath, McNally played for London Irish and London Welsh. The 33-year-old, who is also a sergeant in the RAF, earned an England call-up in the summer of 2021 and earned his only international cap in a win over the USA at Twickenham.

Explaining his thinking behind the signing, Cardiff head coach Matt Sherratt said:

“We are absolutely delighted to bring someone of Josh’s quality to the Arms Park, both in terms of his playing ability and as a leader in our environment. With so many senior figures moving on or retiring in recent years, it was really important to bring in players with experience and leadership ability from top environments, and I believe we have managed to do that.

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“Josh has been a key figure on and off the pitch during the past five seasons at Bath, and his former coaches and teammates cannot speak highly enough of him. He is a big second-row, who brings a physical presence, but he is also a good all-round athlete, is strong technically, and a real lineout tactician. He will bring undoubted quality to us on the pitch and be an important figure in helping some of our younger players.”

McNally’s move comes as Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan adds Leinster lock Ross Molony and Bulls second row Jacques du Plessis ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Discussing his signing, McNally said:

“Having spent part of my career at London Welsh, and with all my wife’s family originating in Wales, I have always been in awe of the passion for rugby in Wales, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the capital.

“I would like to thank the Royal Air Force for allowing me the opportunity to come here. They have been fully supportive throughout my entire career, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

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