Mark Aston calls on familiar faces to underpin European Championship bid

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Ireland coach Mark Aston has included eight members of his 2013 World Cup team in his 21-man squad for the 2015 European Championship.

Castleford half-back Liam Finn and Huddersfield full-back Scott Grix are among those returning after missing last year’s event through injury while London Broncos half-back Joe Keyes gets his first call.

“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.”

Ireland open their campaign with a game against France in Albi on October 17 before playing Scotland in Galashiels and then ending the campaign at home to Wales in their new home at Bray.

Ireland squad: G Gill (Ballynahinch), E Cosgrove, S Hesketh (Batley), J Mendeika (Bradford), S Grix, O Roberts (both Huddersfield), L Finn (Castleford), L Ambler, B Johnston (Halifax), G McNally, B Beswick (both Leigh), J Keyes (London Broncos), C Dunne (Longhorns RL), W Hope (Oldham), G O’Keeffe (Oxford), B Hargreaves, D Bridge, M Hadden (all Rochdale), C Mulkeen (Gloucester All Golds), D Allen (Whitehaven), C Roche (York).

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