23rd September 2010, 08:11
Ireland name squad to face Wales
Ireland have released their 30-man squad from which they will select
Ireland have released their 30-man squad from which they will select their side to face Wales at The Gnoll in Neath in the Alitalia European Cup on Sunday 17th October (kick-off 2pm).
The men from the Emerald Isle, who were standouts in the 2008 World Cup, will be bolstered with the inclusion of 13 current Super League players, including two members of the Wigan Warriors side which lifted the League Leaders Shield, in the shape of Eamon O'Carroll and Mick McIllorum.
Also handed a place is Tim Bergin who has been instrumental in Sheffield Eagles' play off campaign and was called up to the squad last year while he was still a member of the Portlaoise Panthers, his performances for his country leading to him being snapped up by Mark Aston.
Huddersfield Giants' utility Scott Grix will captain the side and is joined in the squad with his brother Simon of Warrington Wolves, the first time the siblings have been called up together since they signed professional terms.
Co-operative Championship Player of the Year, Liam Finn from Featherstone Rovers has a double reason to celebrate, being named in Andy Kelly's squad in the same week as receiving his second successive Player of the Year gong.
The Ireland boss has called up a healthy mix of youth and experience with uncapped players such as Adam Aigbokhae of the Irish Students along with Harlequins RL duo Joe Taylor (also of the North Dublin Eagles) and Jamie O'Callaghan being given their bows.
Speaking on the announcement, Kelly emphasised that his side will not be mere bystanders.
"We are targeting three wins out of three and plan on springing a few surprises like we did in the World Cup," he said. "The games will be physical challenges, we know that, but like 2008 in Australia, we have the right spirit and attitude to make people sit up and take notice."
Ireland will face stiff opposition in their bid to capture the European crown when they face France and Wales away before taking on Scotland in Tallaght Stadium, Dublin.
Tickets for Wales v Ireland on Sunday 17 October at The Gnoll in Neath priced £8 for adults, £6 concessions and £4 for children can be bought by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk. These are advanced ticket prices and will rise on the day of the match.
Ireland 30 Man Training Squad:
Liam Harrison, Bret McDermott (Barrow); Sean Hesketh (Batley); Michael Platt (Bradford); Paddy Barcoe (Carlow Crusaders); Matthew Fox (Dewsbury); Liam Finn (Featherstone); Bob Beswick (Halifax); Jason Golden, Jamie O'Callaghan (Harlequins RL); Simon Finnigan, Scott Grix (Huddersfield); Adam Aigbokhae (Ireland Students); Luke Ambler, Kyle Amor (Leeds); Stevie Gibbons (Leeds Met); Joseph Taylor (North Dublin Eagles ); John Gillam, Wayne Kerr, Marcus St Hilaire (Oldham); Greg McNally (Huddersfield); Sean Gleeson, Ryan Boyle (Salford); Tim Bergin (Sheffield); Brendan Guilfoyle (Treaty City Titans); Simon Grix, Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington); Dave Allen (Widnes); Michael McIlorum, Eamon O'Carroll (Wigan)