Ireland’s men head to London in good spirits for the Investec London Cup as they take on South Africa, Scotland and hosts England in the Olympic Park from Wednesday through to Saturday in the round-robin with the top two teams playing off in a final on Sunday.The panel is reduced to 18 players from last weekend, using 15 of the panel that picked up the 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon over England in Belfield. Alan Sothern, Eugene Magee and Stu Loughrey come into the panel with Peter Caruth, Bruce McCandless and Drew Carlisle the ones stepping back this time.
England are facing a possible change from last weekend’s panel in Dublin due to Henry Weir’s leg injury that saw him limp out of the game on Saturday.
South Africa, the current world number 12 side, are Commonwealth-bound and are likely to keep a decent amount of their World Cup squad together for that event with the likes of Austin Smith, Rassie Pieterse and Tim Drummond in tow though Taylor Dart is one likely change.
Craig Fulton knows them well having been the assistant coach to Charlie Perreira before he resigned as the Springboks’ coach prior to the World Cup.
Scotland, world number 25s, will look to Kenny Bain as their inspiration. With his performances for Hurley this season in the Dutch Hoofdklasse, the rangy striker was one of the most feared strikers with 13 goals from play in a team that finished in their highest ever position. A couple of their panel are well known to Mikey Watt with Chris Grassick and Alan Forsyth key players.
Ireland will be keen, though, to run up a couple of wins in the group phase to earn a place in the final. The final day of the competition will be televised by Sky Sports, another carrot to show up well.
Commenting on his selection, Irish coach Fulton said: “Competition for places in the team is high which is a real positive and all 25 players have contributed. I trust the team I have selected will build on the recent matches we have played and look forward to consistent team performances at the Investec London Cup.”
IRELAND TEAM – Investec 4 Nations, London: D Harte (GK) (SV Kampong), D Fitzgerald (Monkstown), J Jackson (Reading), C Harte (Royal Club de Racing Bruxelles), P Gleghorne (Instonians), J Bell (Lisnagarvey), R Gormley (Krefeld), S Loughrey (Cannock), S O’Donoghue (Dragons), K Shimmins (UCD), M Robson (Annadale), E Magee (Banbridge), S Cole (Monkstown), M Watt (Surbiton), T Cockram (Lisnagarvey), M Darling (Three Rock Rovers), M Elliott (Pembroke Wanderers), A Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers)
Non-travelling reserves: S West; P Caruth; K Good; D Carlisle; B McCandless
Men’s Investec London Cup match schedule (Olympic Park – London)
Wednesday, July 9: Ireland vs South Africa, 5.15pm
Thursday, July 10: Ireland vs Scotland, 5.15pm
Saturday, July 12: Ireland vs England, 12pm
Sunday, July 13: Classification match