Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport

White included in Ireland squad

Ireland coach Mark Aston has included five Australia-based players in his 24-man squad for the World Cup.

They include Canberra Raiders' former Kangaroos prop Brett White, 31, who played against England in the 2009 Four Nations Series final at Elland Road.

White, who also played eight times for New South Wales in State of Origin, was named in Ireland's squad for the last World Cup in 2008 but pulled out in order to have foot surgery.

The squad also includes Manly Sea Eagles second-rower James Hasson, who is still waiting to hear if he will play in Sunday's NRL Grand Final against Sydney Roosters.

Hasson, who was born in Hillingdon, west London, joined the Sea Eagles at the start of this season after failing to secure a new deal with Cronulla and has so far made 12 appearances off the bench. He has been included in Manly's 19-man squad following the injury sustained by Richard Fa'aoso (broken neck).

Ireland's other NRL-based players are New Zealand-born stand-off Apirana Pewhairangi, 21, who joined Parramatta at the start of this year and made his debut against Brisbane in May, and hooker Rory Kostjasyn, 26, who made his debut for Melbourne in the 2010 World Club Challenge against Leeds.

Also in the squad is centre Joshua Toole, who made his debut for Ireland in last year's matches against Scotland and England Knights and is currently playing for Illawarra Cutters.

The big names from Super League include Wigan's 2010 Man of Steel Pat Richards, Catalan Dragons winger Damien Blanch and the Grix brothers, Scott and Simon, who return to the squad for the first time since 2010, while Warrington second-rower Ben Currie has opted for Ireland ahead of England.

The team will be captained by Featherstone half-back Liam Finn, who is one of nine survivors from the side that went within 80 minutes of reaching the semi-finals in 2008.

There are nine uncapped players, although Huddersfield prop Anthony Mullally, Widnes second-rower Kurt Haggerty and Warrington forward Danny Bridge all played in a friendly against England Knights last season.

Aston said: "I am really pleased with the squad we have named, which is a combination of experience and younger up and coming players from both hemispheres.

"I am confident that we are fully equipped to be competitive in what is a really tough group, and we are really looking forward to the challenge ahead against three of the best teams in the world."

Aston has opted not to play a warm-up match and will take his squad into camp in Preston to prepare for their opening game against Fiji, the team that knocked them out five years ago, in Rochdale on October 28. They also face England and Australia in their group.

Ireland squad: Dave Allen (Widnes), Luke Ambler (Halifax), Bob Beswick (Leigh), Damien Blanch (Catalan Dragons), Danny Bridge (Warrington), Ben Currie (Warrington), Liam Finn (Featherstone, capt), Simon Finnigan (Leigh), Scott Grix (Huddersfield), Simon Grix (Warrington), Kurt Haggerty (Barrow), James Hasson (Manly), Rory Kostjasyn (North Queensland), Stuart Littler (Leigh), Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington), James Mendeika (Swinton), Anthony Mullally (Huddersfield), Eamon O'Carroll (Widnes), Apirana Pewhairangi (Parramatta), Pat Richards (Wigan), Colton Roche (Sheffield), Marc Sneyd (Salford), Josh Toole (St George Illawarra), Brett White (Canberra).

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph