Ireland name squad for Malta clash

Ireland have named their squad for the international against Malta in Bray this Saturday.

The squad entirely consists of domestic-based players, as the Irish look to increase the depth of their talent pool.

“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Malta to Ireland at the weekend,” said Ireland coach Carl de Chenu.

“We played over there last year and came away with a narrow win after a very competitive an- physical game.

“Malta have a mixture of domestic and foreign based players, some of which are playing professionally in Australia and England.

“This provides us with the opportunity to continue testing ourselves against quality opposition and to gauge the development of our home-grown rugby league players.”

With Ireland having imposed a quota of domestic players on their senior national squad, De Chenu feels the game gves many players the chance to impress, ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Russia.

“The new selection policy really gives these players something tangible to aim for,” he added.

“They know there is now a clear pathway to playing in the World Cup.

“We had a good win against Italy last time out. We want to keep that momentum going and progress as a squad in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.”

IRELAND SQUAD:

Rob Armstrong (Cork Bulls), Adam Boyce (Belfast Met Scholars), Sam Boyd (Belfast Met Scholars), Onisi Burekama (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), Matt Cahoon (Belfast Met Scholars), Adam Doherty (Portadown Pumas), Casey Dunne (Captain, Longhorns RL), Gareth Gill (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), Chris Hall (Belfast Met Scholars), Jordan Hylton (Selected through domestic trials) & (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Paddy James (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), James Kelly (Dublin City Exiles), Wayne Kerr (Longhorns RL), Conor Mackey (Galway Tribesmen), Matt McKelvey (Belfast Met Scholars), Alan McMahon (Galway Tribesmen), Connor Phillips (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), John Purdy (Portadown Pumas), Mikey Russell (Dublin City Exiles).

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