The World Cup is here as 14 nations travel to Australia to be crowned kings of the world. But Ireland will be heading down under as massive underdogs but do they have what it takes to bring home the silverware?
What to expect?
The Irish are being coached by Sheffield Eagles head coach Mark Aston, and the squad is full of Super League level players.
Ireland are a nation that are mediocre when it comes to major competitions with the nation finishing bottom of their group in 2013. This time around they stand a better chance of making the knock out stages with them facing Wales and Papua New Guinea respectively.
They are a side that have shown determination in the past and having that Super League experience will help them massively and expect a free flowing form of rugby from Ireland.
Players to Watch
Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity)
Having led Wakefield to a fifth place finish this year, Finn is the ideal half back for Ireland and is hoping to lead his team to glory.
His overall mindset is one any player wants to have as he always aims to get a result and this mindset will play an important part in Ireland’s fortunes at the worlds biggest stage.
Michael Mcilorum (Wigan)
One of the most experienced players in the game Macca has been instrumental in Wigan’s success in the Super League era. His main strength within the team is power and aggression, this skills will allow the Irish to push forward.
However over the years he has experienced injury after injury missing half of this years season. But since Good Friday he has been a driving force in Wigan’s defence and even scored a try or two. He is a player that can be a real danger wherever he is on the field.
In my opinion I think that Ireland have a very strong side named and that they have the depth and experience to make it to the Quarter Finals however the fitness will break them down and they will be heavily beaten.
Ireland Squad: Liam Finn (Wakefield, captain), Scott Grix (Wakefield), James Hasson (Wakefield), Kyle Amor (St Helens), Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens), Liam Kay (Toronto), Will Hope (Sheffield), James Kelly (Sheffield), Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield), Ed Chamberlain (Widnes), George King (Warrington), Joe Philbin (Warrington), Joe Keyes (Bradford), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Jack Higginson (Wigan), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford), Michael Morgan (Bulldogs), Brad Singleton (Leeds), Anthony Mullally (Leeds), Api Pewhairangi (London), Matty Hadden (Rochdale), Shannon McDonnell (unattached), Casey Dunne (Longhorns RL), Alan McMahon (Waterford)
Travelling Reserve: Mikey Russell (Coventry)