New coach Ged Corcoran sets out Ireland stall for World Cup challenge

New Ireland coach Ged Corcoran is a man on a mission, five months away from the World Cup.

The Sheffield Eagles assistant coach, an eleven-cap veteran who previously served as right-hand man to Stuart Littler, took the reins five weeks ago and is setting wheels in motion for the next stage of his country’s Rugby League development.

County Offaly-born Corcoran, 39, who played eleven times for his country and was assistant to Mark Aston at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, has called on players to put their hands up to pull on the green and white, and match his own commitment to the cause.

“I’m hugely proud to get to lead my country. I was immensely proud as a player, but now I get to do it as a head coach. It’s exciting,” said the ex-Halifax, Dewsbury, Oldham, Sheffield and Toulouse forward.

“Coming in on such short notice to the World Cup is an added incentive, but I’ve put a proposal together and there is a journey starting to happen here going forward for Ireland Rugby League.

“The World Cup is the starting block and I’m building towards the next one in 2025.

“You need consistency, you need continuity, not just from the playing personnel but also from the backroom staff to the board.

“It gives the players a lift and gives them the reassurance and stability they need to believe in what we are doing on and off the field.”

That belief comes on the back of changes made to the backroom staff including the recent appointments of assistant coach Joe O’Callaghan, performance and strength and conditioning coach Simon Vardy, and men’s media manager Dave Parkinson.

Ireland will face Jamaica, Lebanon and New Zealand in Group C of the World Cup in October.

Corcoran continued: “There’s been a lot of new additions to the backroom staff. There are a lot of new faces being considered and looked at in terms of playing personnel, both on UK soil and over in Australia.

“Ultimately, I want a consistent squad where I want people to be proud to represent their country, not just in World Cup year, but in between, in the Euro comps and the emerging comps.

“I want a proud bunch of players who want to represent their country at any call and anytime.

“I’ve been in and around it a long, long time as an assistant coach and have seen things happen, things that happen in sport, but it won’t happen on my watch.

“I want to be making those decisions in terms of players and personnel. I want to be able to select from the best players, but the best players aren’t always the best to pick.

“The committed players are as passionate, if not more so. It is those committed players that I’ve got my eyes on.

“With players committing year in, year out, they have in the past been overlooked for the bigger player or the bigger marquee personality that’s at a Super League club or an NRL club.

“My eye is cast towards those committed players. I want to give them an opportunity to represent our country in a World Cup, and I know they will turn up the year after and the year after that.”

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