Ireland Rugby League has named a strong looking, train-on squad for their 2017 Rugby League World Cup, European Pool B Qualifiers in October, against Russia and Spain.
Included in Mark Aston’s initial 40-man party are 10 Super League players, including Wigan youngster Jack Higginson for the first time and a trio, in brothers George and Toby King and Joe Philbin, who have helped lift the League Leaders’ Shield with Warrington.
Veteran Stuart Littler has been included, in what would be his rugby league swansong if he plays, and there are 15 players from the domestic competition, including Conor Mackey and Alan McMahon from champions Galway Tribesmen.
RL Ireland director, Richard Egan commented: “Having been a part of the World Cup since 2000, RLI knows what a great spectacle the tournament is, and what a fantastic experience it is for the players and squad members. We hope that qualification in 2017 will increase the game’s exposure in Ireland, and encourage further engagement by the local media which would helpus continue the development we have been working so hard to achieve.”
IRELAND 40-MAN TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Onisi Burekama, Gareth Gill, Paddy James, Connor Phillips (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), Adam Boyce, Sam Boyd, Chris Hall, Matt McKelvey (Belfast Met Scholars), Joe Keyes (Bradford Bulls), Haydn Peacock (Carcassonne), Rob Armstrong (Cork Bulls), James Kelly, Mikey Russell (Dublin City Exiles), Colton Roche (Featherstone Rovers), Conor Mackey, Alan McMahon (Galway Tribesmen), Luke Ambler (Halifax), Scott Grix, Gene Ormsby, Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants), Matthew Cahoon, Jordan Hyltan (Ireland Students), Bob Beswick, Greg McNally (Leigh Centurions), Casey Dunne, Wayne Kerr (Longhorns RL), Will Hope, Michael Ward (Oldham Roughyeds), James Hasson (Parramatta Eels), Adam Docherty (Portadown Pumas), Danny Bridge (Redcliffe Dolphins), Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils), Shannon McDonnell (St Helens), Stuart Littler (Swinton Lions), Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), George King, Toby King, Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves), Dave Allen (Whitehaven), Jack Higginson (Wigan Warriors)