While it is St Patrick’s Day, we’ve decided to select a Dream XIII from players who have represented Ireland over the years.
1. Scott Grix
The 37-year-old full-back made his international debut for Ireland in 2006 and has won 22 caps for the nation, scoring seven tries. Grix has played in three World Cups for the Wolfhounds.
2. Damien Blanch
The winger was a prolific try scorer in Super League with Wakefield and Catalans. On the international stage, Blanch scored nine tries in as many appearances for Ireland and played in two World Cups.
3. Stuart Littler
Littler is a cult hero when it comes to Ireland Rugby League. The former Salford and Leigh favourite won 19 caps for Ireland as a player and is the current head coach of the national team.
4. Pat Richards
Richards was a winger by trade but we have slotted him in the centres for this XIII. The 2010 Man of Steel winner played for Ireland in the 2008 and 2013 World Cups, winning seven caps in total.
5. Brian Carney
The Cork-born winger was part of the impressive Ireland squad in the 2000 World Cup and went on to represent his country in rugby union as well. Carney, now a Sky Sports presenter, also won 14 caps for the Great British and Irish Lions.
6. Tommy Martyn
Alongside Carney, Martyn was part of the strong Irish squad for the 2000 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals. 2000 was a great year for the St Helens legend, with him also being named in the Super League Dream Team.
7. Liam Finn
Finn holds the record for highest number of Ireland caps, with 32 to his name. The 37-year-old announced his retirement from the international game at the end of 2018, having played in three World Cups for the Wolfhounds.
8. Terry O’Connor
The former Wigan favourite formed a formidable front-row partnership with Barrie McDermott for the Great British and Irish Lions. O’Connor won 11 caps for Ireland as well as playing for the Great British and Irish Lions on 14 occasions. He was named in the Super League Dream Team four times.
9. Micky McIlorum
The 33-year-old hooker has played for both Ireland and England on the international stage. He played for England at the 2013 World Cup and is hoping to play in his third World Cup (2008 & 2017) for Ireland this autumn.
A young hooker to keep an eye on is Dec O’Donnell, who currently plays for Workington. He has won three Ireland caps so far and will be hoping to play in his first World Cup this year.
10. Barrie McDermott
McDermott won 15 caps for Ireland in total and starred alongside his good friend O’Connor in that stellar World Cup squad in 2000. The Leeds legend also won 15 caps for the Great British and Irish Lions.
11. Mick Cassidy
The former Wigan favourite represented Ireland and England on the international stage. Cassidy played for England in the 1995 World Cup and Ireland in the 2008 World Cup. He earned 11 caps for Ireland as well as four for the Great British and Irish Lions.
12. Tyrone McCarthy
McCarthy will be hoping to play in his third World Cup for Ireland when the tournament comes around this autumn. He has earned 19 caps for the nation since making his international debut in 2009.
13. Bob Beswick
Beswick is a hooker by trade but he isn’t a complete stranger to the loose forward role. The 36-year-old is currently second only behind Liam Finn in records for most Ireland caps, with 27. Beswick will be hoping to play in his third World Cup with Ireland later this year.