2nd November 2011

Mark Aston has recalled three players to his Ireland squad for this Saturday’s historic international with France. In what will be the first ever game of rugby league to be held in Limerick’s Thomond Park Aston has recalled Paul Handforth, Kyle Amor and James Haley to his match day squad. The trio had missed the 30-6 defeat to Wales two weeks ago in Neath but can now return to the squad to take on Bobby Goulding’s French side.

Following the defeat to Wales the Ireland boss will be looking for an improved performance from his young side. Ireland have never beaten France in five attempts the closest they came to overcoming the French coming in the form of a 30-30 draw in 1997. The last time the two sides met was in Avignon last October when the French ran out victorious by a 58-24 score line.

Speaking ahead of the fixture Aston called for the public to get behind his side “They should be proud of this game. We are going to have people who are from Limerick like Ian Cross and Aaron McCloskey and it would be great for the first time in Thomond Park that people get behind us." He was also decidedly confident despite recent results “We’re capable of what people will probably say is a shock against France. They are a quality side so we are looking forward to that. We’re going to be a little bit better prepared as it’s a start process for us.”

A win for Ireland would provide Aston’s men with a massive boost as the international season comes to a close. Young St Esteve prop Julian Bousquet has been replaced by Carcassonne's Romaric Bemba in the France nineteen.

Paddy Barcoe (Carlow RL), Elliott Cosgrove (Dewsbury Rams), Liam Finn, Joe Mulhern (Both Featherstone Rovers), Bob Beswick, Paul Handforth, James Haley (all Halifax RLFC),  Greg McNally (Huddersfield Giants), Luke Ambler, Callum Casey (Leeds Rhinos), Joe Taylor (North Dublin Eagles), Paddy Boyle (Oxford RL), Tim Bergin, Pat Smith (Both Sheffield Eagles), Ian Cross, Aaron McCloskey (Both St Helens),  Ged Corcoran (Toulouse), Kyle Amor (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington Wolves), Sean Carmody (York City Knights)

Romaric Bemba, Teddy Saddaoui (AS Carcassonne), Olivier Elima (Bradford Bulls),  Jean-Philippe Baile, Jason Baitieri, Thomas Bosc, Rémi Casty, Vincent Duport, Jamal Fakir, Cyrille Gossard, Eloi Pellissier, Mickaël Simon, Cyril Stacul, Frédéric Vaccari (Dragons Catalans), Kane Bentley (FC Lézignan), Dane Chisholm (Melbourne Storm), Damien Cardace, Mathias Pala (St Estève-XIII Catalans), Olivier Arnaud (SO Avignon)

Pictured: Thomond Park will play host to this game 




Rugby League