Ireland star switches allegiance to revive career
TRANSFER NEWS: Leinster’s experienced Irish international prop Jack McGrath says he will play for Ulster from next season in a bid to revive his career which has stagnated.
The 29-year-old was capped 54 times and played in all three Tests of the British & Irish Lions drawn series with world champions New Zealand in 2017.
But he has fallen out of favour at Test level after being the number one choice two years ago thanks to the resurgence in form and fitness of his Leinster teammate Cian Healy.
McGrath – who made just one appearance in this year’s Six Nations as a replacement in the win over Italy – said he wanted a new challenge.
Confirmed | @jackmc100 will be an Ulster player next season!
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) April 2, 2019
“This was a difficult decision but one I believe will put me in the best position to continue to perform at the top end of the game,” he said in a statement issued by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
“I have enjoyed a huge amount of success at Leinster but I feel that looking beyond the World Cup to the next phase of my career I will benefit from the opportunity within the Ulster environment.
“I am now fully fit after a disrupted start to the season and am looking forward to putting all my energy into helping Leinster’s drive to defend the European and PRO14 titles and finishing this season on a high.”
David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, said the fact McGrath had decided to stay in Ireland cast a positive light on the competitiveness of the Irish provinces.
“Jack has made a very tough decision which he believes will advance his case for selection for Ireland,” said Nucifora.
“You have to respect a player with such ambition.
“Leinster is a fantastic environment but it is testament to the work that all four provinces are doing that players are seeking opportunities within Ireland to advance their international careers.”