The Wolfhounds will face France, Scotland and Wales in the tournament, and only eight players remain from last autumn’s World Cup; Bob 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.
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.
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).