6:00am Friday 13th June 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
OXFORDSHIRE airman Josh McNally is determined to take his career to the next level after signing for London Welsh.
The 23-year-old lock, a weapons technician at RAF Brize Norton, joins Premiership club Welsh from Henley Hawks, who will play three levels below them in National 2 South next season.
Although that means he faces a big step up, McNally was targeted by Welsh and believes he can make it in the Aviva Premiership.
“I don’t see any reason why I can’t play at that level,” he said.
“It is a bit intimidating going there, but I feel I can take it in my stride.”
McNally added: “I have never played full-time rugby before.
“Twelve months ago, if someone had told me I would be signing for a Premiership club, I would have told them to wind it down a bit.
“It’s brilliant, I am over the moon.
“It’s definitely the highlight of my rugby career so far.”
McNally has progressed up the English rugby union pyramid while being posted at different locations with the RAF and now has his big chance.
“I played a pre-season game against London Welsh last August and heard a few whispers then, but nothing came of it,” he said.
“Then London Welsh got in touch at the end of the season.
“I went to watch the Championship final in Bristol and signed a contract after that.”
McNally and the Welsh squad report for training at the end of this month and he will have the chance to line up against his old club at Dry Leas in a friendly on August 9.
“I will knuckle down and give it my best shot,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Head coach Justin Burnell said: “Josh caught my eye last year when we played Henley in a pre-season friendly – he really impressed me in that game at Dry Leas.
“When I subsequently spoke to Henley head coach Pete Davies he confirmed my assessment of Josh and once I met with him I was confident that he’d fit in to our environment at London Welsh.
“The fact that Josh is joining us from Henley and is based at RAF Brize Norton just serves to further strengthen the club’s ever-increasing links to Oxford.”
McNally is the 15th Welsh signing unveiled this week – after James Sandford, Cameron Goodhue, Paul Rowley and Jesse Liston yesterday.
Lock Sandford joins from Cornish Pirates, scrum half Rowley from Plymouth Albion, while back-row forwards Goodhue and Liston come from Worcester Warriors and Blackheath respectively.
Latest Sport news
2:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
BRIAN Howard’s situation at Oxford United is unclear after head coach Michael Appleton admitted he did not know whether the midfielder would be offered an extension to his short-term contract.
12:33pm Friday 19th December 2014
PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh starting line-up for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership fixture with Saracens at Allianz Park (KO 3pm).
12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
JOSH Ashby is good enough to play in Oxford United’s side right now, but the teenager knows his time will come, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
9:40am Friday 19th December 2014
RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.
9:30am Friday 19th December 2014
John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.
9:34am Friday 19th December 2014
Get ready for kick-off with our interactive preview of Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool
9:10am Friday 19th December 2014
THERE were times earlier this season when it felt like Danny Hylton was scoring in every game, but Oxford United’s top scorer is not getting weighed down by a sudden barren run in front of goal.
9:00am Friday 19th December 2014
FINDING a predator to turn dominance into goals has been an Achilles’ heel for Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton is hopeful two candidates will emerge over the festive period.
8:00am Friday 19th December 2014
ABOUT 150 supporters have taken advantage of Oxford United’s offer of free transport to tomorrow’s game at Hartlepool United.
7:30am Friday 19th December 2014
North Leigh boss Mark Gee admitted he is ‘wary’ of struggling Wantage Town as his side travel to Alfredian Park in Division 1 South & West of the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow, writes Matthew Bruce.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group