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Ireland national rugby league team: Wikis


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Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Wolfhounds
Association Rugby League Ireland
Region Europe
Head coach Republic of Ireland Andy Kelly
Captain Republic of Ireland Scott Grix
RLIF ranking 7th
National Uniform
First international
United States USA 22 - 24 Ireland
(Washington, USA; 17 March 1995)
Biggest win
United States USA 6 - 64 Ireland
(Dublin, Ireland; 10 May 2004
Biggest defeat
Russia Russia 64 - 6 Ireland
(Dublin, Ireland; 16 May 2004)
World Cup
Appearances 2 (First in 2000)
Best result Quarter-finals, 2008

The Ireland national rugby league team represent the island of Ireland (i.e. both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) in rugby league. Ireland are accredited as an affiliate nation of the Rugby League International Federation. The representative team is dominated by players from Super League and sometimes includes players from the Australasian NRL. Ireland is also represented by an Ireland A side, which is made up of players from the domestic Irish competition.

Since Ireland began competing in international Rugby League in 1995, it has participated in the Emerging Nations Tournament (1995), Super League World Nines (1996), World Cup (2000 and 2008), European Nations Cup (since 2003) and Victory Cup (2004). Ireland A compete annually in the Amateur Four Nations competition (since 2002) and the St Patrick's Day Challenge (1995-2004).

Irish players have in the past been selected to play for the Great Britain side, one recent example being Cork-born Brian Carney. However, since the Great Britain team was split into individual nations in 2007, it is unlikely that this situation will arise again.


World Cup 2008

See also 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying See also 2008 Rugby League World Cup

Ireland were drawn against Lebanon and Russia in Europe's Qualifying Pool Two. Ireland topped the group with a 16-16 draw with Lebanon at Dewsbury on 2 November 2007. The draw meant Ireland qualified for the 2008 World Cup on points difference from Lebanon as both nations gained the same number of group points.

At the World Cup in Australia, Ireland were in Group C along with Tonga and Samoa. They lost to Tonga on 27 October in Parramatta, Sydney, but were victorious against Samoa, again in Parramatta, on 5 November and topped the group on points difference. As the group winners, they played Fiji, winners of Group B, for a chance to qualify for the semi-final. Fiji won 30-14 and so Ireland were eliminated.

2009 European Cup Squad

No Player Position Domestic Club
1 Karl Fitzpatrick Full Back Salford City Reds
2 Stevie Gibbons Wing London Skolars
3 Marcus St Hilaire Centre Oldham Roughyeds
4 Liam Harrison Centre Barrow Raiders
5 Pat Richards Wing Wigan Warriors
6 Scott Grix (C) Stand off Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
7 Liam Finn Half back Dewsbury Rams
8 Luke Ambler Prop York City Knights
9 Michael McIlorum Hooker Wigan Warriors
10 Wayne Kerr Prop Oldham Roughyeds
11 Dave Allen Second Row Barrow Raiders
12 Jason Golden Second Row Harlequins RL
13 Bob Beswick Loose forward Halifax RLFC
14 Sean Hesketh Prop York City Knights
15 Ryan Boyle Prop Castleford Tigers
16 Brendan Guilfoyle Hooker Treaty City Titans
17 Tyrone McCarthy Second Row Warrington Wolves
18 Paddy Barcoe Wing Carlow Crusaders
19 John Coleman Wing Dublin City Exiles
20 Tim Bergin Centre Laois Panthers


Ireland at the 2008 World Cup

Ireland formed its very first competitive team to play against the USA in Washington on St. Patrick's Day in 1995. Ireland won 24-22 with Wigan legend Joe Lydon coming on as a replacement. He had gone to the US as a manager but was drafted in to play. Terry Flanagan, Huddersfield coach and former Great Britain player, along with Niel Wood, Director of British Student Rugby League, coached the team. In August 1995 Ireland beat Scotland at the RDS in Dublin. The game was played as a curtain raiser to the British Charity Shield encounter between Wigan and Leeds. The Irish team that day included former Great Britain player Des Foy. These two victories ensured that Ireland were included in the Emerging Nations World Cup in the Autumn of 1995. Coached again by Flanagan and Wood, the Ireland team beat Moldova and Morocco but lost 22-6 to the Cook Islands in the final held at Gigg Lane, Bury in England. In February 1996 a Senior Irish squad travelled to Fiji to participate in the Inaugural Super League World Nines. Ireland managed to finish 8th out of 16 nations. During the tournament Ireland played Japan, France, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga. Following discussions between Mal Meninga and Ireland's Niel Wood (this was actually a game of touch football as final preparation for the Nines Tournament which started the next day), an unofficial 'test' was organised between Ireland and the World Champions, Australia on 20 February 1996.

Ireland at the 2008 World Cup

The match was played at the Fiji National Stadium and was won by Australia 20-12. Australians playing that day included: Laurie Daley (Capt.), Ricky Stuart, Andrew Ettinghausen, Brett Mullins, Wendell Sailor, Jason Hetherington, Simon Gillies, Robbie Beckett, Mark Geyer and Steve Renouf. In 1996 a second St. Patrick's Day match was played against the USA. Try scorers that day were Thomas "Tom" McCabe and Des Foy. Phelim Comerford kicked 3 goals to ensure another 2 point victory by 14-12. In August 1996 the Ireland team lined out against Scotland and were beaten 26-6. Both teams fielded a few professionals: Scotland included Alan Tait, Matt Crowther, Danny Russell and Darren Shaw.

The Ireland team included Martin Crompton, Bernard Dwyer and James Lowes. The rest of the Irish team was made up of a few professionals from the lower divisions in England, a couple of ex-professionals, a few amateurs from the English amateur leagues and players from the fledgling Irish domestic competition. 1997 saw more England-based Super League players making themselves available by use of the grandparent rule. The Irish team improved its standards but this development gave less opportunity for Irish-based players to get a chance to play. However, Irish-based players were included in the Irish squad for the triangular tournaments in 1998 against France and Scotland and 1999 against Scotland and Wales. Their success was enough to earn a place in the 2000 World Cup. Finishing top of their group, the Irish eventually lost 26-16 to England in the quarter-finals, but the performance set the scene for future developments in Ireland.




Brian Carney was instrumental in Ireland's plan before his switch to Rugby Union

Ireland has played in 22 full internationals, winning 14 and losing 7 with 1 draw. As it is not a full member of the Rugby League International Federation, these matches are not considered to be tests. Ireland has also played friendlies against USA, Scotland and Australia that are not included in these results.

  • Lebanon def. Ireland 40-16 (8/11/09) 2009 European cup
  • Wales def. Ireland 42-12 (1/11/09) 2009 European cup
  • Ireland def. Serbia 82-0 (18/10/09) 2009 European cup
  • Fiji def. Ireland 30-14 (10/11/2008) 2008 Rugby league world cup quarter final
  • Ireland def. Samoa 34-16 (5/11/2008) 2008 Rugby league world cup group game
  • Tonga def. Ireland 22-20 (27/10/2008) 2008 Rugby league world cup group game
  • Ireland drew with Lebanon 16-16 (2/11/2007)
  • Wales def. Ireland 31-10 (30/10/2005)
  • Ireland def. Scotland 12-6 (23/10/2005)
  • England A def. Ireland 36-12 (7/11/2004)
  • Ireland def. Scotland 43-10 (29/10/2004)
  • Ireland def. Wales 25-12 (17/10/2004)
  • Russia def. Ireland 64-6 (16/5/2004)
  • Ireland def. USA 74-16 (10/5/2004)
  • Ireland def. Scotland 24-22 (26/10/2004)
  • France def. Ireland 26-18 (11/1/2003)
  • France def. Ireland 56-16 (26/6/2001)
  • England def. Ireland 26-16 (11/11/2000) Quarter Final of 2000 World Cup
  • Ireland def. New Zealand Māori 30-16 (4/11/2000) 2000 World Cup
  • Ireland def. Scotland 18-6 (1/11/2000) 2000 World Cup
  • Ireland def. Samoa 30-16 (28/10/2000) 2000 World Cup
  • Ireland def. Scotland 31-10 (31/10/1999)
  • Ireland def. Wales 24-17 (15/10/1999)
  • Ireland def. Scotland 17-10 (18/11/1998)
  • France def. Ireland 24-22 (4/11/1998)
  • Ireland drew with France 30-30 (13/5/1997)
  • Cook Islands def. Ireland 10-6 (24/10/1995)
  • Ireland def. Morocco 42-6 (24/10/1995)
  • Ireland def. Moldova 48-26 (16/10/1995)

Ireland A

Ireland Wolfhounds logo

The Ireland A team is selected from players in the Irish domestic competition. This team is administered by Rugby League Ireland.

  • Ireland A def Scotland A 30-22 (13/6/2009)
  • Ireland A def. England A 36-24 (6/9/2008)
  • Scotland A def. Ireland A 28-26 (26/7/2008)
  • Ireland A def. France A 40-14 (7/6/08)
  • Scotland A def. Ireland A 42-16 (14/8/2005)
  • Wales A def. Ireland A 18-10 (16/7/2005)
  • Ireland A def. England Amateur "Lionhearts" 28-8(3/7/2005)
  • Scotland A def. Ireland A 24-16 (22/8/2004)
  • USA def. Ireland A 41-10 (24/3/2004)
  • Scotland A def. Ireland A 48-20 (9/8/2003)
  • Ireland A def. Wales A 32-28 (21/6/2003)
  • USA def. Ireland A 20-16 (15/3/2003)
  • Ireland A def. Scotland A 70-10 (18/8/2003)
  • England Amateur "Lionhearts" def. Ireland A 32-10 (16/6/2002)
  • USA def. Ireland A 24-22 (16/3/2002)
  • Ireland A def. Scotland A 28-10 (11/9/2001)
  • USA def. Ireland A 19-6 (18/3/2000)
  • Ireland A def. Scotland A 21-16 (30/5/1998)
  • Ireland A def. Scotland A 25-18 (25/10/1997)
  • Ireland A def. USA 26-6 (16/3/1996)
  • Ireland A def. USA 24-22 (16/3/1995)

See also


External links


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