IRELAND head coach Stuart Littler has named Saints second row James Bentley in his train-on squad for the forthcoming European Championship, which doubles as a qualifier for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.

Bentley, who signed from Bradford last year, made his Saints debut towards the end of the Super 8s campaign after playing dual reg with Sheffield.

The top two nations will be granted automatic passage, the bottom two playing in a further qualification group in 2019 which will include Italy, either Norway or Greece, and the top two nations in European B, which will be decided this weekend.

A number of players are included from Ireland’s 2017 World Cup campaign, where the Wolfhounds just lost out in Papua New Guinea to deny them a spot in the quarter finals, together with a group of emerging talent from the domestic competition.


Sean O’Sullivan, Connor Smyth (Athy Sharks), Michael Ward (Batley Bulldogs) Chris Hall, Connor Phillips (Belfast Stags), Joe Keyes, Gregg McNally, Ethan Ryan (Bradford Bulls RL), Peter Ryan (Coventry Bears RL/ Galway tribesmen), Aaron Ryan (Dublin City Exiles) Ryan Guilfoyle, Ed O’Keefe, Roy Stanley (Galway Tribesmen), Ronan Michael (Huddersfield Giants RL /Longhorns RL), Lewis Bienek (Hull FC), Api Pewhairangi (London Broncos RL), Andrew Coade, Matt Connelly, Gareth Gill, Richie McHugh, James Mulvany, Kevin Varga (Longhorns RL), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford Red Devils), James Bentley (St Helens), Will Hope (Swinton Lions), Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Luke Hooley (Wakefield Trinity), George King, Pat Moran (Warrington Wolves), Alan McMahon (Waterford Vikings), Callum Mulkeen (West Wales Raiders), Callum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings) Liam Byrne, Declan O’Donnell (Wigan Warriors).


Round 1 –

Saturday 27 October.

Ireland v Scotland – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm).

France v Wales – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm).

Round 2 –

Friday 2 November.

Scotland v Wales – Gala RFC, Galashiels, (kick off 7.30pm)

Saturday 3 November.

Ireland v France – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm).


Saturday 10 November

France v Scotland - Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm)

Sunday 11 November.

Wales v Ireland – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (kick off 3pm).