Ireland reveal new head coach ahead of World Cup

James Gordon
Ireland squad World Cup 2017 PA

The Ireland squad at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Ireland have appointed Ged Corcoran as their new men’s head coach, after parting company with Stuart Littler.

Corcoran, 39, becomes the first Irish-born head coach of the Ireland side, having been born and bred in Co Offaly.

He won 11 caps during his playing days, featuring at the 2008 World Cup.

An RLI statement said: “Ged brings a wealth of direct experience and knowledge, in preparing a squad to compete in the highest competition in our great sport, to his new role as Head Coach.

“Ged Corcoran is well known to our grassroots players in Ireland being heavily involved with them, especially our Pathways players.

“Player development is an area that Ged wants to use his Head Coach position to help drive even further with an emphasis on developing players for (World Cup) 2025.”

An Irish rugby league stalwart

A prop or second-row, Corcoran signed his first professional contract with Halifax at the age of 15.

He was part of the Halifax squad relegated from Super League in 2003, and later moved on to play for Sheffield, Oldham, Dewsbury and Toulouse.

Corcoran finished his playing career with a total of 151 senior appearances.

The long-serving RLI servant was assistant coach of the Ireland side at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups.

Ireland face New Zealand, Lebanon and Jamaica in the group stages at this year’s tournament.

Their first game is against Jamaica at Headingley on October 16.

They then take on Lebanon at Leigh Sports Village on October 23; before rounding off the group stage once more at Headingley against New Zealand (October 28).

At the 2017 World Cup, Ireland won two group games against Wales and Italy; but missed out on a quarter-final place.

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