Aston names Ireland train-on squad

Ireland coach Mark Aston has included St Helens full back Shannon McDonnell in his 29-man train-on squad for the 2014 European Championship.

The Wolfhounds will face France, Scotland and Wales in the tournament, and only eight players remain from last autumn’s World CupBob Beswick, Luke Ambler, Stuart Littler, Matty Hadden, Josh Toole, Colton Roche, Danny Bridge and Apirana Pewhairangi.

McDonnell could make his long awaited debut for Ireland having missed out on both the 2008 and 2013 World Cups through injury. 

Also selected are seven members of the Ireland Amateur team who won the Celtic Nations Cup against Scotland and Wales in August, among 13 debutants including Leeds Rhinos prop Robbie Mulhern

From the domestic competition Hadden is joined by Brendan Guilfoyle, Lemeki Vaipulu, Wayne Kelly, Mikey Russell, and Casey Dunne while former Treaty City Titans forward Graham O’Keeffe has also received the nod from Aston. 

Aston said: “I am delighted that we have been able to add a number of new players into the system.

“The fixtures against France, Scotland and Wales are always exciting especially with the added incentive of 2016 Four Nations qualification for the winners.”


Ireland will host both of their home matches at the Tallaght Stadium, Dublin against France on 18th October and Scotland a week later. They will then face Wales in Wrexham on the 2nd November. 


Squad: Matty Hadden (Antrim), Casey Dunne (Athboy), Michael Russell (Barnhall), Sean Hesketh (Batley), Wayne Kelly (Belfast Met), Hayden Peacock (Carcassonne), Jobe Murphy (Dewsbury), Luke Ambler, Callum Casey (both Halifax), Elliot Cosgrove (Keighley), Robbie Mulhern (Leeds), Stuart Littler, Michael Platt, Bob Beswick, Gregg McNally (all Leigh), Josh Toole (North Sydney), Graham O’Keeffe, Callum Mulkeen (both Oxford), Apirana Pewhairangi (Parramatta), Sean Casey (Rochdale), Shannon McDonnell (St Helens), Lemeki Vaipulu, Brendan Guilfoyle (both Treaty City), James Toole (Tweed Heads), Will Hope (Unattached), Danny Bridge (Warrington), Brad Hargreaves (Wigan St Patricks), Pat Smith, Colton Roche (both York).

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