Ireland call-up for Centurions stars

Leigh Centurions hooker Bob Beswick. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Leigh Centurions hooker Bob Beswick. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
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Leigh pair Gregg McNally and Bob Beswick have been named in the Ireland squad for the European Championship.

Ireland head coach Mark Aston has selected a strengthened squad for the 2015 European Championship, with the inclusion of eight members of the last World Cup Squad from 2103.

Liam Finn is in contention again having missed two of last year’s European games through injury, while James Mendeika also wins his place back after having been absent in 2015.

Huddersfield full-back Scott Grix also returns to the fold as does McNally while London half-back Joe Keyes gets his first call.

Domestic-based players Casey Dunne and Gareth Gill have been included in the squad and Gill will be looking to make his debut under Mark Aston. He has already represented Ireland in full internationals this summer against Serbia and Malta when Aston’s assistant Carl de Chenu held the reins.

“It’s great to have a number of players back in the squad,” said Aston. “We were very unlucky last year to lose out in the Euros on points difference and will be looking to put that right in this year’s competition.

“We have quite an experienced squad with such as Liam Finn, Bob Beswick and Scott Grix all involved and we only have three uncapped players in Gareth Gill, Oli Roberts and Joe Keyes, so we are pretty settled.”

Aston’s squad face an away game in Albi against France to open the tournament before playing Scotland in Galashiels and then ending the campaign at home to Wales in their new home at Bray.

Ireland Squad:

Gareth Gill* (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), Elliot Cosgrove, Sean Hesketh (Batley Bulldogs), James Mendeika, Oli Roberts* (Bradford Bulls), Liam Finn (Castleford Tigers), Luke Ambler, Ben Johnston (Halifax RLFC), Scott Grix (Huddersfield Giants), Gregg McNally, Bob Beswick (Leigh Centurions), Joe Keyes* (London Broncos), Casey Dunne (Longhorns RL), Will Hope (Oldham RLFC), Graham O’Keeffe (Oxford RL), Brad Hargreaves, Danny Bridge, Matty Hadden (Rochdale Hornets), Callum Mulkeen (Gloucester All Golds), Dave Allen (Whitehaven RLFC), Colton Roche (York City Knights)

* Denotes previously uncapped player