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Magee will close in on 300 caps at Euros, but Harte has fitness fight

 

Edging nearer: Eugene Magee
Edging nearer: Eugene Magee

By John Flack

Eugene Magee is one of six Ulstermen included in the Ireland squad for next month's European Championship in Antwerp as the Banbridge player edges closer to the 300-cap mark.

However, David Harte, who has twice been voted the world's best goalkeeper, is facing a race against the clock to be fit as he recovers from a muscle inflammation.

Magee had originally ruled himself out due to work commitments but his employers, local IT firm BRS Golf, have had a change of heart.

The 33-year-old has 285 caps at present and that tally will rise to 293 come the end of the Euros, before which Ireland travel to Barcelona for a Four Nations tournament also involving England and Malaysia, beginning tomorrow.

Australian-born Tim Cross will add to his two international appearances for his adopted country when he takes part in both events.

The 28-year-old, who was capped eight times by the Aussies, made his debut for Alexander Cox's team only last weekend in two internationals against Scotland.

The squad shows several other changes from the recent Olympic qualifier in France with Ulster players Matthew Nelson and Matthew Bell dropping to the reserve list and Neal Glassey unavailable.

Ireland squad for European Championship (July 16-25): Jamie Carr (KHC Leuven), Mark Ingram (Crefelder HTC), Conor Harte (Racing Club de Bruxelles), Jonathan Bell (Lisnagarvey), John Jackson (Bath Buccaneers), Lee Cole (Royal Oree), Paul Gleghorne (Crefelder HTC), Stuart Loughrey (Hampstead & Westminster), Tim Cross (Tilburg), Shane O'Donoghue (KHC Dragons), Stephen Cole (Royal Oree), Daragh Walsh (KHC Leuven), Kirk Shimmins (Pembroke), Sean Murray (HC Rotterdam), Michael Robson (Crefelder HTC), Ben Walker (Three Rock Rovers), Jeremy Duncan (Herakles), Eugene Magee (Banbridge).

Women's international: Ireland 4 (N Evans 2, S Hawkshaw, D Duke) Italy 1 (G Ruggieri).

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