James Bentley aiming to do family proud with Ireland at World Cup

James Bentley Leeds Rhinos Ireland

Super League Grand Finalist James Bentley says it will be a proud moment for him and his family when he pulls on the green shirt of Ireland at the World Cup.

Bentley was born and raised in Leeds but qualifies to play for Ireland through his mother’s side of the family, who are from Northern Ireland.

The 24-year-old forward represented his hometown club Leeds in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday as they fell short to a 24-12 defeat to his former club St Helens.

2022 hasn’t finished yet for Bentley though. He will be hoping to be selected in Ged Corcoran’s Ireland squad for what will be his first World Cup.

“We go into camp on October 5th so I’m looking forward to seeing the boys and hopefully doing something special with them,” Bentley told Love Rugby League.

“We’ve got a good group of players that will come together and if we play like we know we can then you can’t write us off. Hopefully we can go on to do something special.

“Ged is a great guy, he gets all the boys in and gets around us all.

“We had that little camp in mid-season which was decent for us and it was good to catch up with all the lads but I’m looking forward to the World Cup.”

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A breath of fresh Éire for James Bentley

Bentley has won five caps for Ireland since making his international debut in 2018.

His family, especially his mum Michelle and nan Emily, will be bursting with pride if he gets to pull on the green jumper this autumn.

“My mum is looking forward to it,” Bentley said with a smile on his face. “My nan will be back home (in Northern Ireland) so they will be watching it as well. It’s going to be good.

“I might try to get my nan over for a few games, depending on whether she can fly or not. I’ll have to see how she is. She doesn’t like watching me too much, she gets a bit scared, bless her. Hopefully I can get here over.

“All Irish people have plenty of passion and they are all proud to be from Ireland, especially my grandad when he was around. He’d be buzzing to see me play for Ireland.”

Ireland are in a group alongside New Zealand, Jamaica and Lebanon at the World Cup.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8513 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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