3 Oct 2022
Roosters star Luke Keary headlines Ireland squad for RLWC2021
By Steve Mascord
WHEN Ireland coach Ged Corcoran hosted a get-together for prospective members of his squad at Rochdale in June, they each received a training shirt that was a replica of the jersey worn what he calls the “Irish Dream Team”, the 2000 World Cup squad.
One of the attendees was immediately hit by a wave of nostalgia. Ben Mathiou had stood in front of his dad as he wore that jersey 22 years before. No-one can remember a second-generation Wolfhound before the 26-year-old Featherstone forward, son on Jamie.
That’s just one of many engaging yarns out of an Ireland men’s side named at the end of the week that includes two sets of brothers, George and Toby King plus Innes and Lewis Senior.
Sydney Roosters Luke Keary and Leeds’ Richie Myler are the silky backline superstars while Leeds’ James Bentley will rattle the most decorated of opponents.
From the NRL comes Gold Coast’s Jaimin Jolliffe, Wests Tigers Henry O’Kane, Canterbury’s Josh Cook and Manly’s James Hasson while Harry Ruston and Ronan Michael formerly played for Canberra.
The availability of St Helens and Leigh's Dan Norman had only become apparent to RLI in recent weeks.
In 2000, the Wolfhounds featuring stars like Barrie McDermott, Luke Ricketson, Terry O’Connor, David Barnhill, Steve Prescott, Tommy Martyn, Chris Joynt, Brian Carney, Kevin Campion and David Barnhill qualified for the quarter-finals, losing 26-16 to England at a packed Headingley.
Many players publicy linked to the 2022 squad were not actually eligible, according to officials.
There are four survivors from 2017. Winger Liam Kay has a broken hand while Louis McCarthy Scrapbook, Kyle Amor and Brad Singleton were not selected.
Corcoran is understood to have asked all players to declare their availability for World Cup qualifiers and European Championship games if they wished to play in the World Cup.
Read the full Ireland final squad https://www.rli.ie/2022/09/29/ire-men-rlwc21-squad-announced/
See Ireland take on Jamaica, New Zealand and Lebanon at Rugby League World Cup 2021 and secure your place today - rlwc2021.com/tickets