Veteran lower division icon to play on into 17th season of career in 2024 with League 1 switch confirmed

Ben Olawumi
Crown Oil Arena

The Crown Oil Arena, home of Rochdale Hornets - Alamy

Veteran Gregg McNally, a stalwart of the lower divisions, will play on into the 17th season of his career in 2024 with a return to League 1 outfit Rochdale Hornets now confirmed.

The 12-time Ireland international, who represented the Wolfhounds through his heritage, had spent 2023 in the third tier with Oldham and scored eight tries for the Roughyeds in 16 appearances this term.

That was his second spell with the Boundary Park outfit, and he now makes a return to the Crown Oil Arena for his second stint with Rochdale, for whom he amassed an impressive 20 tries in 21 appearances for the year prior.

Full-back McNally will turn 33 in January, and is just three hit-outs away from the milestone of 300 appearances at club level in his senior career, which started back in 2008 with hometown Cumbrian outfit Whitehaven.

Veteran Gregg McNally to play into 17th season of career in 2024 with Rochdale Hornets return confirmed

The stalwart also featured for both Huddersfield Giants & Barrow Raiders as a youngster before joining Leigh, where he would become a club legend.

Over two stints between 2012 and 2020, separated by a year with Bradford Bulls in 2018, McNally made 176 appearances for the then-Centurions as they became a dominant force in the Championship.

Scoring 111 four-pointers in that time, he remains Leigh’s third all-time top try-scorer, and is in the club’s top 10 of all time for overall points scored having also kicked 21 goals.

Having departed the Leythers, he headed back to Whitehaven for 2021, and has since flicked between Rochdale and Oldham in the North West.

Putting pen to paper on a deal with the Hornets for 2024, McNally told their club website: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be back at Rochdale this year. I really enjoyed my time with the club two years ago, it is a real family club and a place where I really enjoyed my rugby.

“I’m looking forward to working with Gary, Andy and all the coaching staff again. In 2024, I hope the Hornets faithful get behind us, as we’ve assembled a great group of lads who will work hard for each other and give it our best shot every week.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of that and contributing to help the club.”

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