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Unused Lord’s trio can help Irish Wolves bare teeth

 

By Ian Callender

All three unused players at Lord’s in Sunday’s historic one-day international against England will play for the Ireland Wolves this week, ahead of Ireland’s Tri-series with Bangladesh and New Zealand.

Andy McBrine, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young can boast a total of 162 senior appearances between them but the North West trio have been asked to prove themselves one level down, albeit against the same opposition that the senior squad will face in Malahide over the next two weekends.

McBrine will have to wait longer for a return to ODI action as he has been left out of the Tri-series squad and will play in both games for the Wolves, a 50-over clash against the New Zealanders at Stormont tomorrow (10.45am) and a T20 match against a Bangladesh XI at Rathmines on Thursday (4pm).

Although McBrine’s Warriors team-mates have kept their places in the squad for the ODIs, Young has been asked to play tomorrow, while Thompson will play in Dublin, the evening before the first game of the series, against Bangladesh.

Coach John Bracewell said McBrine was still “very much in the selectors’ minds” and added: “He’s a strong character and hopefully he’ll respond positively with good displays this week.”

It is definitely a case of what a difference a year makes. Last June, the Donemana all-rounder hit 79 against Sri Lanka and most judges were saying that would be the last time he would bat as low as No.8. In 17 innings since, he has a top score of 18.

Apart from McBrine, seven other players have been named in both Wolves squads, captained by Shane Getkate, and they are joined by senior contracted players John Anderson, who will play in Belfast, and Greg Thompson will face the New Zealanders.

Eddie Richardson gets a call-up for the T20 match while Sean Terry is in both squads. Jamie Grassi will keep wicket tomorrow with Lorcan Tucker replacing him on Thursday.

The bulk of the squad played five games in England last month and according to coach Pete Johnston, it a great opportunity to prove themselves against two top-class international sides.

“It will be a great experience and another challenge for them,” said Johnston. “The squad impressed in Bristol and should be confident heading into these encounters.”

Ireland Wolves (v New Zealanders, Stormont, tomorrow, 10.45am): S Getkate (capt), J Anderson, A Dennison, J Grassi, T Kane, J Little A McBrine, R McKinley, J Shannon, Nat Smith, J Tector, S Terry, C Young

Wolves (v Bangladesh XI, Rathmines, Thursday 4pm): Getkate (capt), Dennison, Kane, Little, McBrine, McKinley, E Richardson, Shannon, Nat Smith, Terry, G Thompson, S Thompson, L Tucker

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