Aston calls for greater international commitment after Ireland victory

Ireland coach Mark Aston hopes that his team’s shock win over France in Dublin on Saturday will help to show that the international dimension is vital to rugby league’s future.

The unfancied Irish claimed a 22-12 win over France at the Tallaght Stadium, and Aston believes it shows that much more could be achieved internationally with proper support.

“I hope the governing bodies will realise how massive the international game can be and now properly support it,” Aston said, according to the RLEF website.

“The win was based around attitude, commitment and heart – Ireland’s call – there were heroes everywhere, I couldn’t be prouder of them, it is one of my all-time favourite victories.

“We got our energy from within. I said last night in our team meeting that we wanted to earn respect; of each other, our opponents and the Irish fans and we’ve done that.

“Josh Toole was the man of the match but Bob Beswick was outstanding, he was the glue, he is so smart and skilful out of dummy half, one of the very best in the business and set a captain’s lead.

“He has worked closely with Liam Finn who is assisting me and it showed.

“Young lads like Robbie Mulhern – who was 20 today – and Joby Murphy just threw themselves into it and were magnificent especially as we had very little rotation and Shannon McDonnell ‘s two tries on debut were vital.

“But I was equally as pleased with the two domestic-based lads on the wings. They showed what talent the sport can attract.”

Aston described the result as: “Massive, probably one of the biggest in the history of Irish rugby league.”

But he refused to get carried away as he looked to re-focus his team on next week’s clash against a strong-looking Scotland side, who beat Wales in Cumbria on Friday night.

“We are going to enjoy tonight because the lads deserve to, they did everything we asked and we are going to celebrate as only the Irish can,” the Ireland coach added.

“Then we’ll re-focus for what will be a very tough game here against Scotland next week after their win last night.”

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