Bewley's Hotels new team sponsor. The Irish rugby league squad begin their final preparations for the forthcoming European Nations Cup this week with a warm up friendly match next Sunday against Cumbria at Whitehaven. This fixture will give the Irish Wolfhounds a great opportunity to reacquaint themselves with each other and with Coach Daryl Powell's game plan for the European campaign. Ireland's European Cup pool includes both Scotland and Wales. France, Georgia and Russia play in the second pool. The Irish side have been bolstered by a new primary sponsorship deal with 'BewleysHotels.com' and with additional support from Rugby League retailers 'forty twenty' and 'Keg Watch' social awareness programme. Irish Super League stars Barrie McDermott and Brian Carney were present at today's announcement (see photo attached) and Brian Carney stated "the Wolfhounds are delighted with this new partnership with Bewley's Hotels. Their three hotels in Dublin plus their UK hotels in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow are an obvious base for any Irish rugby league fan." Bewley's Managing Director, Andrew Langwaller, commented that his company's support for Irish rugby league reflects RLI's growing presence in Ireland and said "we see rugby league as a sport that is making a mark in Ireland. We'd be delighted to see Irish rugby league supporters staying with us, especially when they come to watch Ireland play." Beaten finalists to England last year, the Irish Wolfhounds list 7 players from the Irish domestic RLI league in their European Cup squad. The Irish are hoping that Leeds Rhinos' stars Barrie McDermott and Francis Cummins come through next weekend's Super League Final against Bradford Bulls unscathed. Both Castleford Tigers & Dewsbury Rams also had Grand Finals yesterday so Offaly native Ged Corcoran (Dewsbury Rams) and Castleford Tigers trio Paul Handforth, Thomas Haughey and Michael Platt will also join the squad later. Powergen Cup winners Hull provide Shayne McMenemy & Paul McNicholas to the Wolfhounds. Veteran star Terry O'Connor (Widnes Vikings) and Carl De Chenu (Sheffield Eagles) from Bray are available for this years' campaign. British & Irish & Wigan star Brian Carney is unavailable as he will again feature in the upcoming Tri-Nations Series between the Great Britain & Irish Lions, Australia and New Zealand.
Warm up Friendly Sunday 16th October 2005 - Ireland vs. Cumbria, Whitehaven, KO 3pm European Nations Cup Fixtures Sunday 23rd October 2005 - Ireland vs. Scotland in Glasgow, KO 3pm Saturday 29th October 2005 -Ireland vs. Wales in Terenure College RFC, Dublin, KO 2.30pm. (Saturday 5th November 2005 - European Nations Cup Final in Carcassonne, France).
Forwards: Dave Bates (York); Ged Corcoran (Dewsbury Rams); Wayne Corcoran (Halifax); Simon Finnigan (Widnes Vikings); John Gallagher (Hull KR); Martin Gambles (Blackpool Panthers); Paul Handforth (Castleford Tigers); Thomas Haughey (Castleford Tigers); Barrie McDermott (Leeds Rhinos); Shayne McMenemy (Hull); Terry O'Connor (Widnes Vikings); Kevin O'Riordan (Treaty City Titans); Eoin Power (Kildare Dragons);Philip Purdue (East Coast Eagles); Eric Roberts (Kildare Dragons); Barry Sweeney (Waterford Vikings); Backs: Michael Brodie (Treaty City Titans); Francis Cummins (Leeds Rhinos); Carl De Chenu (Sheffield Eagles); Karl Fitzpatrick (Salford Reds); Dean Gaskell (Warrington Wolves); Stuart Littler (Salford Reds); Paul McNicholas (Hull); Michael Platt (Castleford Tigers); Tony Stewart (Salford Reds); Billy Treacy (Treaty City Titans); Patrick Weisner (Halifax); Coach: Daryl Powell (Leeds); Asst. Coaches: Andy Kelly (Dewsbury), Damien Welland (Kilkenny). Manager: Mike Callaghan (Leigh). Team Doctor: Dr. Jonathan Hanson. Physiotherapist: Susan Ford. Press Officer: Manus Lappin. PR Director: Tom McCormack. Rugby League Ireland (RLI): Dave Southern, Chairman.