USA and Ireland name squads


The USA and Ireland have named their squads for next weekend’s historic Donnybrook Cup international in Philadelphia.

The Irish squad includes two full internationals in the form of Paddy Barcoe and Brendan Guilfoyle who were both selected in the recent Alitalia European Cup competition.

Meanwhile, the Americans include 10 players who took part in the Atlantic Cup at the end of last season, for the game which takes place at the Charles Martin Stadium on Saturday 19th March.

“We are really excited about the USA Tomahawks squad selected for the Donnybrook Cup to represent the American National Rugby League,” said AMNRL president David Niu.

“It is a mixture of experienced international players along with some developing young talent that will get the first opportunity to push their claim for selection for the RLWC Qualifiers in October.

“Historically, the matches with Ireland are tough encounters and it will be a stiff challenge for our players. It is going to be a fantastic week of preparations for both teams as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Philadelphia, and this event is the ideal way to kick off our 14th season of rugby league in the USA.”

The bulk of the Irish team comes from their domestic competition with eight players taking part in last season’s All Ireland Final.

Ireland Wolfhounds head coach Alan Robinson said: “The game is very important for the development of the Sport in both Ireland and the USA, for us we want to develop new domestic players and give them an international tour experience that will stand them in good stead as players going back into their club environments in the Irish domestic competition and playing in the Four Nations this coming summer.”

Robinson also spoke of the emotion he expects his players to experience running up to the game; “For many this will be their first big international game so I know it will be full of pace and emotion.”

This game will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2004 when the Tomahawks won 41-10. In total the sides have met on six occasions with the Wolfhounds picking up two wins and the USA with four victories.

The first two meetings went the way of the Wolfhounds but the Tomahawks have won four on the bounce and haven’t been defeated by Ireland since 1996.

USA Tomahawks: Apple Pope (Capt), Calder Orr, Xavier Lozinguez, Kelly McGill, Conway Maraki, Andrew Kneisly, Mike Cartwright, Mike Tuala, Salesi Tongamoa, Sione Taufa, Mike Brazill, Curtis Cunz, Andrew Malafu, Nate Smith, Charles Cortalano, Sean Taylor, Gareth Baxendale

Ireland Wolfhounds squad:
Simon Deevy (Athboy), Ross Bergin (Bristol Sonics), Paddy Barcoe (Carlow Crusaders), Adam Hughes, Alan Trenier, Brian Flanagan (All Dublin City Exiles), Joe Smith (Northampton Demons), Ashley Huck, Peter Howard (Both Siddal ARLFC), Alan McNamara, Brendan Guilfoyle, Mark O’Neill, Mark Tuohy, Sean Carmody (All Treaty City Titans), John Bagnall (Tullamore Knights), Ben Moriarty, Jimmy Giblin (Both West London Sharks)

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