World Cup: Wigan's Pat Richards and Grix brothers selected by Ireland
Wigan's Pat Richards will link-up with Grand Final opponent Simon Grix of Warrington in Ireland's RL World Cup squad.
Last Updated: 03/10/13 1:34pm
Coach Mark Aston included 2010 Man of Steel Richards and Wolves second-rower Grix in his squad to begin preparations for their group opener against Fiji in Rochdale on October 28.
Grix's brother Scott of Huddersfield Giants was also given the nod alongside Catalan Dragons winger Damien Blanch and a second Warrington second-rower in Ben Currie, who has opted for Ireland ahead of England.
Aston selected five Australian-based players in the party which will be captained by Featherstone half-back Liam Finn, who is one of nine survivors from the side that went within 80 minutes of reaching the semi-finals in 2008.
Canberra Raiders' former Kangaroos prop Brett White, 31, who played against England in the 2009 Four Nations Series final at Elland Road, is included by coach Ashton while London-born Manly Sea Eagles second-rower James Hasson also gets the nod.
White featured eight times for New South Wales in State of Origin and was named in Ireland's squad for the last World Cup in 2008 but pulled out in order to have foot surgery.
Hasson is still waiting to hear if he will be selected for Sunday's NRL Grand Final against Sydney Roosters after making 12 appearances off the bench for Manly en route to the Sydney decider.
Ireland's other NRL-based players are New Zealand-born stand-off Apirana Pewhairangi , 21, who joined Parramatta Eels at the start of this year and made his debut against Brisbane Broncos in May, and North Queensland Cowboys hooker Rory Kostjasyn, 26, who made his debut for Melbourne in the 2010 World Club Challenge against Leeds.
Centre Joshua Toole, who made his Irish bow in last year's matches against Scotland and England Knights, is currrently playing reserve-grade for Illawarra Cutters, while there is nine uncapped players in all.
However, Huddersfield prop Anthony Mullally, Widnes second-rower Kurt Haggerty and Warrington forward Danny Bridge all played in a friendly against England Knights last season and Aston said: "I am really pleased with the squad we have named, which is a combination of experience and younger up and coming players from both hemispheres.
"I am confident that we are fully equipped to be competitive in what is a really tough group and we are really looking forward to the challenge ahead against three of the best teams in the world."
Aston has opted not to play a warm-up match and will take his squad into camp in Preston to prepare for their opening game at Spotland. They also face hosts England and favourites Australia in a daunting group.
Ireland: Dave Allen (Widnes), Luke Ambler (Halifax), Bob Beswick (Leigh), Damien Blanch (Catalan Dragons), Danny Bridge (Warrington), Ben Currie (Warrington), Liam Finn (Featherstone, capt), Simon Finnigan (Leigh), Scott Grix (Huddersfield), Simon Grix (Warrington), Kurt Haggerty (Barrow), James Hasson (Manly), Rory Kostjasyn (North Queensland), Stuart Littler (Leigh), Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington), James Mendeika (Swinton), Anthony Mullally (Huddersfield), Eamon O'Carroll (Widnes), Apirana Pewhairangi (Parramatta), Pat Richards (Wigan), Colton Roche (Sheffield), Marc Sneyd (Salford), Josh Toole (St George Illawarra), Brett White (Canberra).