Tyrone McCarthy: Pulling on Ireland jersey is a great honour

Tyrone McCarthy feels honoured and privileged every time he gets the opportunity to pull on the green jersey of Ireland.

The 31-year-old forward made his international debut for Ireland against Serbia in Tullamore and has earned 19 caps for the nation to date.

McCarthy, who has made more than 250 career appearances, says he is incredibly proud to represent his heritage and family roots.

“Getting to represent the country and my family is the biggest honour when you pull the green jersey on,” McCarthy said.

“Singing the national anthem is a very special moment.

“Making my Ireland debut was very special because my grandad, dad and brother were there in Tullamore. My favourite individual moment of playing for Ireland was scoring against Fiji in the 2013 World Cup. It is a moment that I’ll always cherish.

“Playing for Ireland is something I pride myself on. You should be grateful for any opportunity you get to pull the green jersey on.”

The Wolfhounds impressed at the last World Cup in 2017, beating Italy and Wales in the group stages.

Ireland are in a group with New Zealand, Lebanon and Jamaica for the 2021 tournament – and McCarthy wants his side to go one better this time around.

“New Zealand are the big boys in there but Jamaica and Lebanon have a lot of quality as well,” McCarthy said.

“Jamaica are a bit of an unknown but there are a lot of Jamaica players who play in England who are of high quality.

“Lebanon had a good World Cup last time and they’ll probably fancy their chances but we are confident in what we can do and our goal is to get out of that group and go one further than we did last time.

“The 2021 Rugby League World Cup has given me inspiration to crack on this year and I think the tournament could be a beacon of light at the end of the year because hopefully we will all have something to celebrate.”

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