Keary, Jolliffe, Cook headline NRL talent in Ireland squad

Published by Brad Walter, IntRL
29 Sep 2022

Gold Coast Titans prop Jaimin Jolliffe and Canterbury Bulldogs hooker Josh Cook are among four NRL players to join Sydney Roosters playmaker Luke Keary in the Ireland squad for the World Cup in England.

Keary, who has played for Australia and qualifies for Ireland through his father, is expected to partner former England halfback Richie Myler in a formidable halves pairing for the Wolfhounds, who are in the same pool as New Zealand, Lebanon and Jamaica.

South Sydney Rabbitohs forward James Hasson and rookie Wests Tigers second-rower Henry O'Kane are the other NRL players in the 24-man squad, while former Canberra Raiders forwards Harry Rushton and Ronan Michael have also won selection.

Photo: Richie Myler and Luke Keary will form a formidable halves pairing for Ireland.

Rushton (Huddersfield Giants) is among twelve Super League players chosen by Ireland coach Ged Corcoran, headed by Hull KR powerhouse George King, who will captain the Irish side.

Myler and his Leeds team-mate James Bentley played in the Super League grand final.

There are nine players who have been previously capped with Ireland, with fifteen then eligible to make their first senior appearances for the Wolfhounds during the World Cup.

Halifax Panthers’ Joe Keyes is one of the seven Championship players in Corcoran’s squad and comes into the tournament in outstanding form which was reflected by being named on the shortlist for the competition’s Player of the Year.

The Halifax half has already been capped eight times as an Irish international.

Michael, who moved to Canberra in 2020 to play Jersey Flegg but did not see any action due to COVID ending the season, became the first Irish-born player to feature in a Super League match since Brian Carney when he made his debut for Wigan in 2020.

Ireland begin their World Cup campaign against Jamaica on October 16 before facing Lebanon at Leigh Sports Village on October 23 and New Zealand at Headlingley on October 28.

Ireland Wolfhounds

James Bentley (Leeds)

Keanan Brand (Leigh)

Liam Byrne (Wigan)

Ed Chamberlain (Leigh)

Josh Cook (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Frankie Halton (Hull KR)

James Hasson (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Jaimin Jolliffe (Gold Coast Titans)

Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)

Joe Keyes (Halifax)

Toby King (Warrington)

George King (Hull KR)

Ben Mathiou (Featherstone)

James McDonnell (Wigan)

Ronan Michael (York)

Robbie Mulhern (Warrington)

Richie Myler (Leeds)

Dan Norman (St Helens)

Henry O’Kane (Wests Tigers)

Harry Rushton (Huddersfield)

Innes Senior (Huddersfield)

Louis Senior (Hull KR)

Michael Ward (Batley)