Rugby League World Cup Preview: Ireland

A talented side with some solid players in their side, Ireland face a monumental task in the World Cup with two competition heavyweights in their group. Can they spring an upset?

Dave Allen (Widnes Vikings), Luke Ambler (Halifax), Bob Beswick (Leigh Centurions), Damien Blanch (Catalans Dragons), Danny Bridge (Warrington Wolves), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Liam Finn (Featherstone Rovers), Simon Finnigan (Leigh Centurions), Scott Grix (Huddersfield Giants), Simon Grix (Warrington Wolves), Kurt Haggerty (Barrow Raiders), James Hasson (Manly Sea Eagles), Rory Kostjayn (North Queensland Cowboys), Stuart Littler (Leigh Centurions), Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington Wolves), James Mendeika (Warrington Wolves), Anthony Mullally (Huddersfield Giants), Eamon O’Carroll (Widnes Vikings), Apirana Pewhairangi (Parramatta Eels), Pat Richards (Wigan Warriors), Colton Roche (Sheffield Eagles), Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers), Joshua Toole (St George Illawarra Dragons), Brett White (Canberra Raiders)

Head coach: Mark Aston

A host of experience players headline the Irish side, some names in which both NRL fans and Super League fans will know well, as the Irish side look to use and build on that experience to have a successful tournament.

With NRL veterans like Brett White, Rory Kostjaysn and Pat Richards (who will return to the NRL) coupled with the likes of Damien Blanch, Eamon O’Carroll, the Grix brothers and others from the Super League, the Irish have a solid chance of competing at the very least.

With a tough, tough group – arguably the toughest in the entire competition – to make the next round, the Fighting Irish will have to get past Australia and England, two of the current heavyweights in international rugby league.

Whilst it can be done given the talent in the Irish side, doing so in reality will prove to be a harder task, given the prowess of the Australian and English sides.

One would expect the two heavyweights to finish 1st and 2nd, though Ireland, along with Fiji, will fight valiantly to the end but probably fall just short of making the next round.

The team I’d go with for Ireland:

1. Scott Grix
2. Damien Blanch
3. James Mendeika
4. Stuart Littler
5. Pat Richards
6. Apirana Pewhairangi
7. Liam Finn
8. Brett White
9. Rory Kostjaysn
10. Eamon O’Carroll
11. Simon Grix
12. Simon Finnigan
13. Tyrone McCarthy

14. Luke Ambler
15. Anthony Mullally
16. Danny Bridge
17. James Hasson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *