IRFU-contracted international prop Jack McGrath has decided to switch provinces to Ulster from the start of the 2019/20 season.
Speaking about the move from his native Leinster, McGrath commented: “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. 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.”
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora said:
Jack has made a very tough decision which he believes will advance his case for selection for Ireland. 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.”
McGrath made his international debut in November 2013 against Samoa and has won 54 Ireland caps to date. He featured in all three Tests on the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, and was a Six Nations title winner with Ireland in 2014, 2015 and 2018.
The 29-year-old loosehead made his debut for Leinster in April 2010 against Glasgow Warriors and has made over 140 appearances for the province, helping Leinster to three Heineken Cups, an Amlin Challenge Cup, a GUINNESS PRO14 title and two PRO12 Championships.