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Eugene Magee savours becoming Ulster's first 200-cap player


Milestone: Eugene Magee reaches his 200th Irish cap this weekend

Milestone: Eugene Magee reaches his 200th Irish cap this weekend

?INPHO/Donall Farmer

Milestone: Eugene Magee reaches his 200th Irish cap this weekend

Banbridge midfielder Eugene Magee is all set to become the first Ulsterman to pull on the Irish jersey 200 times when he lines out against France in a Test game this weekend.

He would, however, trade them all if he could just help Ireland achieve their dream by qualifying for Rio and to step out onto the Olympic arena.

Magee is part of a 20-man squad at a training camp this weekend as part of their build-up for next month's World League 3 tournament where places for Rio will be up for grabs.

Once again Ulster supply around half of Craig Fulton's panel and it will be in the second Test against France that Magee reaches his milestone.

Already the Irish have had a training camp in Krefeld where they lost twice to Olympic champions Germany and will complete their warm-up with two Tests against Belgium next month, which gives them an opportunity to play on the tournament pitch.

"It's a great honour to reach such a milestone and although I never really thought about it, the fact that I'll be the first from Ulster makes it even more pleasing," said Magee.

"Having said that, I would trade them all just to be able to qualify for Rio and then get playing in the Olympic arena!"

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Magee, whose club career also took in spells in Australia, Holland, Belgium and Germany, made his Irish debut in 2005 and in those 10 years he has run up this memorable milestone.

"And I'm not finished yet," he insists. "My biggest goal is to reach the Olympics and this is my last chance.

"It won't be easy qualifying, but we are focussed - we ARE going to Rio!"

Meanwhile former Cookstown midfielders David Ames and Ian Sloan made their official Great Britain debuts at the weekend in two draws against Argentina in London. Four Ulstermen featured, with Iain Lewers and Mark Gleghorne also lining out.

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