Sydney Roosters half-back Luke Keary has predicted a bright future for international team-mate and Wigan prop forward Liam Byrne.
Both Byrne and Keary featured in their first-ever World Cup with the Wolfhounds under head coach Ged Corcoran.
The side picked up one win during the group stages and ultimately failed to cement a place in the quarter-finals. Keary featured in all three matches, while Byrne missed out against New Zealand due to a suspension.
When asked who impressed him the most in the Ireland squad, Keary told Love Rugby League: “Liam Byrne for me.
“He might get a chance (with England in 2025), but hopefully not. There’s going to be a good group and there’s more young players too.
“Frankie Halton, playing next to him, he’s a late bloomer but I know he’s in Super League now. He’s a big fella too.
“Ronan Michael as well, he’s been awesome and the fourth Irish player to represent Ireland, which is awesome.”
Luke Keary reflects on World Cup campaign
Corcoran’s side opened their campaign with a 48-2 victory over Jamaica, but fell to a 32-14 defeat to Lebanon before losing to the world’s #1 ranked team, the Kiwis, 48-10 in Leeds.
Reflecting on the Ireland camp, Keary said: “Quarter-finals was obviously the goal. Against Lebanon, we lost the plot in the end. It’s disappointing, but the experience has been good. I’m so happy that I did it and to get around this group.
“My dad is really still really close to his Irish relatives and he goes over all this time. Proud is a good word to sum this all up.
“It’s a young group too. One of the first things we said in the camp was building towards France 2025.
“We’ve all bonded so well. You might look back at the results and say it wasn’t what we wanted, but some of these boys are top class lads.
“There’s a lot of young guys who want to be there. Hopefully the boys will qualify and there’s a good core group that will be over there in France.
However, Keary jokingly ruled himself out of the next World Cup, adding: “Not me, I’ll be done by then!”