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Former England prop Stuart Fielden throws his lot in with Ireland

By John Beaton

Former England prop Stuart Fielden has switched his allegiance to Ireland for this autumn's World Cup.

Fielden, who won the last of his eight caps for England against Australia in the 2010 Four Nations Series, is now set to play against the English in the second round of group matches at his home ground, Huddersfield, on November 2.

"Stuart has committed to the cause and he will bring vast experience from playing at the highest level," said Ireland coach Mark Aston.

"There will be certain instances in the World Cup when he will be massive for us and he will add the steel and presence that we want at that level.

"I'm highly delighted that he'll be with us."

Fielden, who also won 25 caps for Great Britain during his time at Bradford and Wigan, is currently sidelined with a knee injury but is expected back well before the end of the Super League season.

Aston, the Sheffield Eagles coach who has succeeded Andy Kelly as Ireland boss, has also revealed that Warrington's highly-rated second rower Ben Currie has opted for Ireland ahead of England.

He will be joined in the Irish ranks by a host of leading Super League stars, including Pat Richards (Wigan), brothers Scott and Simon Grix (Huddersfield and Warrington respectively), Damien Blanch (Catalan Dragons) and Shannon McDonnell (Hull).

"Ben Currie is a big one for us – he has a massive future in the game," Aston said.

"He's big and strong and we're delighted he's pledged his allegiance to Ireland."

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