2021 Rugby League World Cup

Ireland have named their train-on squad for this autumn’s final European qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. The Wolfhounds are in pool A with Italy and Spain, with the top two nations going through.

Young Wigan tyro Liam Byrne is again included alongside new Warrington signing Keenan Brand and recent Hull KR recruit Ethan Ryan, together with experienced Toronto trio Anthony Mullally, Bob Beswick – who will captain the side – and Liam Kay, as they prepare for the ‘Million Pound Game.’

Api Pewhairangi is recalled and there are 11 players included from the Irish domestic league, the bulk from Longhorns.

Head coach Stuart Littler commented: “Our squad has a youthful look to it with some added quality. We are excited as to what the future holds for Rugby League Ireland. The work done domestically this year has been exceptional and a real step forward. The World Cup is just around the corner and this tournament will assist with the future development and exposure of our players to the international environment.”

Beswick added: “I’m really looking forward to playing for Ireland again with the goal of World Cup qualification our focus. To be selected as captain is a surprise but I’ll do my best to carry on in the same direction that Liam Finn has pushed us over the last decade. Hopefully we can continue to develop the grassroots game. I look forward to working with everyone when we get over and getting down to work.”

Hull’s Mark Minichiello, who recently announced his retirement from the club game after an illustrious career, has been named in Italy’s train on squad.

Milano Mustangs in the Italian domestic league have the most representatives, whilst Jack Johns – son of Matthew and nephew of Immortal Andrew – who played in the 2017 World Cup is also included, as is Matthew Tedesco, brother of Dally M winner James. Among the youngsters selected are Joe Fella and Nico Rizzelli from the Castleford and St Helens academy sides.

The Italians are looking to qualify for their third World Cup and head coach Leo Epifania, commented: “FIRL has worked tirelessly post RLWC2017 with the upcoming qualifiers in mind, hopefully culminating in strong performances during the qualifying matches. We have put together a healthy squad and done our best to prepare and are confident that we will perform.”

London Broncos’ hooker Eloi Pelissier has been named in Spain’s train on squad.

The bulk of the squad is playing in France, with 18 from the Spanish domestic league, nine of them coming from Torrent Tigres.

Head coach Darren Fisher commented: “The squad looks well balanced, I’m happy with the new faces coming in and we should have a good blend of experience to go with them. We are at our highest position in the world rankings going into the games and the players are looking forward to the challenge. We could potentially be one win from the World Cup but we know we will have to put in two very good efforts in the get anything out of the games.”

His captain, Palau’s Alex Doutres added: “Whatever the final result we will grow out of this. The World Cup will be a plus for the development of rugby league in Spain and trying to mix the cultures of at home and abroad. We have a desire, passion and belief to do well.”

Luc Franco, Gaetan Estruga, Maxime Garcia, Navarro Mathias, Simon Juárez, (Albi RL), Anthony Delgado, Alexis Escamilla, Julien Agullo, Romain Palleres, (Carcassone), Romain Franco, Ugo Perez (Catalans Dragons), Daniel Garcia (Crosfields), Antonio Puerta, Juan Mudarra, Rafael Garcia (Custodians RL), Joss Santos (Eastmoor Dragons), Chris Lopez (Heworth), Hugo Julien, Pierre Negre, Nicolas Munoz, Benjamin Tort, Sebastian Martin, Walid Bouregba (Lezignan), Leandre Torres, Valentin Yesa (Limoux), Eloi Pelissier (London Broncos), Yoan Tissere (Montpellier), Jonathen Infante Leclerc (Ontiyent), Alex Doutres, Anthony Carrere, Clement Herrero (Palau), Maxime Scimone (Pia), Kevin Aparicho, (Rennes etudiant club rugby), Damola Ayanlaja (Salford City Roosters), Miguel Blanco-Charters (Seaton Rangers), Joel Laynez (Skirlaugh), Bastien Scimone (St Esteve), Aitor Romero, Daniel Morales, Carlos Jane, Hadriel Mehamed Gonzales, Ruben Romero, Sigfrido Garcia, Raul Simo, Miquel Tomas Enrique, Vincent Cubes (Torrent Tigres), PJ ma, Pierre Fourquet (Toulouse Olympic), Miguel Olivares, Ruben Olivares (Valencia Warriors), Ludovic Renu (VARL), Fernando Vidal, Adrian Alonso, Carlos Font (Xativa Roosters)

Luis Lollo (Ambrosiana Tigers), Alec Susino (Barrow Raiders), Joey Tramontana, Rhys Sciilitano (Blacktown Workers), Nathan Milone (Cabramatta), Jarrett Subloo (Canberra Raiders), Mason Cerruto (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Simone Boscolo, Michele Olocco, Alberto Berganton (Carina Tigers), Josef Fella (Castleford Tigers), Matthew Bonanno (Central Tigers), Matthew Tedesco (Coogee Dolphins), Ethan Natoli, Josh Natoli (Coogee-Randwick), Lachlan Scarpelli (Cronulla Sharks), Vince Ripepi (East Campbelltown), Samuel Dolores (Eastwood Rugby), Brock Pelligra (Glebe-Burwood), James Saltonstall (Halifax RLFC), Daniel De Vecchis (Hills District Bulls), Mark Minichiello (Hull FC), Giuseppe Pagani, Daniele Not, Mattia Not, Mauro Quarino, Lorenzo Marcuz, Juan Vila, Ippolito Occhialini, Tommaso Nicoli (Lignano Sharks), Rinaldo Palumbo (London Skolars), Cooper Johns (Melbourne Storm), Bandoni Ettore, Bienati Nicolò, Botti Davide, Pirotta Carlo, Signorelli Davide, Lorenzo Leandro, Morosi Fabio, Berton Edoardo, Zappa Giorgio, Coppi Manuel, Mastromauro Davide, Santarelli Alessandro, Caldara Simone, (Milano Mustangs), Ryan King (Mounties), Joshua Carr, Luke Polselli (Newtown Jets), Luke Hodge (North Sydney Bears), Jack Campagnolo (Northern Pride), Emanuele Passera (Parma Cowboys), Alexander Myles (Penrith Panthers), John Trimboli (Penrith Panthers), Santino Battagliolo (Ryde Eastwood Hawks), Lorenzo Grosso, Samuele Audisio, Tallone Filippo, Radosta Gabriele, Gabriele Pattaro, Luca Moressa, (Saluzzo North West Roosters), Marc Zaurrini, Jack Frasca, Jack Johns (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Anton Ilaria (St Marys), Luca Moretti (Sydney Roosters), Richard Lepori (Swinton), Brenden Santi, Dean Parata (Toulouse Olympique), Alberto Suin, Mattia Saoncella, Fabio Galetto, Guido Cicogna, Edoardo Paluello (Veneto Black Rabbits), Daniel Petralia, Nicholas Okladnikov (Wentworthville Magpies), Gus Garzaniti, Harrison O’Toole (Wests Magpies), Chris Centrone, Josh Mantellato (Wyong Roos), Gioele Celerino, Chris Vitalini (West Wales Raiders), Gianluca Azzali (XIII del Ducato), Nico Rizzelli (St. Helens),Shann Brugel (Villefranche XIII)

Lee Walsh (Athboy), Fiach Millward, Sam Cullen, Shane Kelly (Barrow Cudas, Carlow), Michael Ward (Batley), Joe Keyes (Bradford), Euan Tierein (Coventry Bears), Martyn Reilly (Dewsbury), Matthew Towey (Galway Tribesmen), Oliver Roberts, Ronan Michael (Huddersfield), Ethan Ryan (Hull KR), Gregg McNally (Leigh), Ben McKiernan, Graham OKeefe, James Mulvaney, Kevin Varga, Matt Connolly, Matthew Coade (Longhorns RL), Roland Podesta (Manly), Danny Bridge (Oldham), Api Pewhairangi (NZ Warriors), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford), James Bentley (St Helens), Frankie Halton (Swinton), Anthony Mullally, Bob Beswick, Liam Kay (Toronto), Jack Mackin (Tweed Head Seagulls), Jack O’Sullivan (University of Gloucestershire), George King (Wakefield), Keenan Brand, Pat Moran, Riley Dean (Warrington), Callum O’Neill, (Widnes), Liam Byrne (Wigan), Dec ODonnell (Workington)




Spain v Ireland

26th Oct


La Ciutat De L’esport, Ronda nord, s/n, 46800 Xàtiva

Xàtiva, Valencia,

Italy v Spain

2nd Nov


Stadio Communale G. Teghil


Ireland v Italy

9th Nov


Morton Stadium

Santry, Dublin