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Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 09:08 UK

Ireland suffer White injury blow

Brett White
White played for New South Wales in this year's State of Origin

Ireland's World Cup hopes have suffered a setback with the withdrawal of Melbourne Storm prop Brett White and Wests Tigers winger Shannon McDonnell.

White has been told he needs surgery, while McDonnell has hamstring trouble.

Former Hull forward Shayne McMenemy and Brendan Guilfoyle, a prop with Irish club Treaty City Titans, have been called up as replacements.

But Ireland coach Andy Kelly was unhappy with the lack of communication from the two players' NRL clubs.

"It's come so late," he said.

"We had no knowledge of White's medical problem and you would have thought he would have flagged it up with us.

"And you don't get problems with a hamstring overnight. Any professional person would have let us know about it so that we could make contingency plans."

White, who played for Melbourne in Sunday's Grand Final defeat by Manly, has been troubled by persistent inflammation and soreness affecting the joints at the base of both big toes over the last few weeks.

But former Wigan forward Mick Cassidy, who played for England in the 1995 World Cup, will represent Ireland in Australia.

Mick Cassidy
Cassidy helped Barrow win National League Two promotion this year
The 35-year-old, who helped Barrow win promotion from National League Two this year, was named in Kelly's final squad on Tuesday.

There are three products of the Irish domestic league in Ross Barbour, Steve Gibbons and Wayne Kerr.

Players with Super League experience include Pat Richards, Simon Finnigan, Gareth Haggerty, Stuart Littler and Karl Fitzpatrick.

Already ruled out through injury were Wigan prop Paul Prescott (back) and Warrington duo Chris Bridge (Achilles) and Simon Grix (shoulder), with Sheffield Eagles' Ged Corcoran earning a late call-up.

Ireland have appointed a captaincy triumvirate, with Wakefield full-back Scott Grix named as squad leader and Bob Beswick and Stuart Littler helping to spread the workload.

The Irish will play their two group games against Tonga and Samoa at the Parramatta Stadium on 27 October and 5 November.

Ireland squad: Ross Barbour (Carlow Crusaders), Bob Beswick (Widnes), Damien Blanch (Wakefield), Mick Cassidy (Barrow), Ged Corcoran (Sheffield), Lee Doran (Leigh), Liam Finn (Dewsbury), Simon Finnigan (Bradford), Karl Fitzpatrick (Salford), Steve Gibbons (London Skolars), Sean Gleeson (Wakefield), Scott Grix (Wakefield), Gareth Haggerty (Harlequins), Ben Harrison (Warrington), Graham Holroyd (Halifax), Wayne Kerr (London Skolars), Stuart Littler (Salford), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Eamon O'Carroll (Wigan), Michael Platt (Bradford), Pat Richards (Wigan), Ryan Tandy (Wests Tigers), Shayne McMenemy (unattached), Brendan Guilfoyle (Treaty City Titans).

see also
Rugby League World Cup squads
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup 2008 fixtures
15 Nov 07 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
06 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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