PROFESSIONAL rugby player Josh McNally has been named UK Armed Forces Sportsman of the Year.

McNally, a weapons technician currently on the RAF’s Elite Athlete programme, received the prestigious award from Princess Anne at a star-studded ceremony recently.

The audience heard how Cpl McNally felt unwell after a Championship match for London Irish and was rushed to hospital for heart surgery.

His recovery was described as remarkable and almost unbelievable as he went on to lead the RAF to victory in the Inter-Services rugby competition for the second time in three years.

McNally will leave London Irish at the end of the season to begin a new professional contract with Bath Rugby Club in the Gallagher Premiership.

On receiving his award, Josh thanked his family and friends for all their support during his recovery and to the RAF for allowing him to develop his rugby career in parallel to his technical engineering career.