The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Cumbrian representative team once again proved to be a first-class lineup, defeating Ireland 64-4 on the weekend. The game played at Whitehaven?s Recreation Ground was a showcase of local talent, including 10 players who were a part of the Whitehaven Warriors team that recently missed out on Superleague promotion. The Cumbrian team continued the form they displayed in the corresponding game last season, when they went close to defeating a combined Australian and New Zealand team.
The crowd of 1,200 witnessed a commanding performance with the local team skipping away to a 30-0 lead at halftime, and comprehensively playing Ireland out of the game in the second half. However all was not lost for Ireland who were fielding a what was described as an ?experimental? team made up of players from the Irish domestic competition.
Great Britain and Ireland international Brian Carney was on hand in Whitehaven to lend support to his homeland, and was full of praise for the mostly amateur Irish team. After watching the game Carney told Cumbria?s News and Star that ?Three or four (domestic Irish players) would be able to play at National One level (in England)?, quite a statement considering Rugby League Ireland?s domestic competition is only two seasons old.
The Irish team will this week welcome several English Superleague players, including Terry O?Connor and Barrie McDermott, into their European Cup squad. The Wolfhounds kick off their campaign against Scotland at Glasgow this Sunday.