Gary Connolly will play for
Ireland

Former Great Britain full-back Gary Connolly will play for Ireland in the European Nations Championship before deciding whether to hang up his boots.

The 34-year-old former Wigan and St Helens favourite ended the 2005 season with relegated Super League club Widnes and is considering calling time on his 18-year career.

"I'll play for Ireland and then see how I feel," he said. "There are one or two options open to me but I've not made my mind up."

Connolly, who began his distinguished career with home-town club St Helens in 1988-89, won 31 Test caps from 1991 to 2003, when he scored his first-ever try for Great Britain against Australia.

He also played four times for England before making his Ireland debut in a 17-10 victory over Scotland in Glasgow in 1998.

"Playing for Ireland is something I enjoy doing," said Connolly. "There is a good craic and and they have a good team."

Ireland, who lost to England in last year's final, have a warm-up match against Cumbria at Whitehaven on October 16 before playing their first European Nations game against Wales at Bridgend a week later. They also meet Wales in Dublin as they bid to reach the final in Carcassonne on November 6.

If Connolly decides to retire, he will bow out alongside another former Great Britain international Barrie McDermott, the Leeds prop who is also playing for Ireland.

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