Issac Luke could have played for Ireland at Rugby League World Cup - coach

Issac Luke could have played for Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup, according to the team's coach.
CAMERON SPENCER/GETTY IMAGES

Issac Luke could have played for Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup, according to the team's coach.

Irish hooker Issac Luke, running from dummy half at the Rugby League World Cup?

It could have happened, says Irish coach Mark Aston, but for a delay with his paperwork.

Aston told the Irish Examiner that Luke and his former Rabbitohs teammate Luke Keary had put their hands up to play for Ireland at the World Cup, which begins later this month, and is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

"We got a list from the NRL telling us who qualifies and Issac Luke, who qualifies through his grandparents, put his hands up," Aston said.

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"We're a bit gutted because he didn't get the paperwork in on time. I think he thought he'd probably play for New Zealand and by the time he came back to us the chance has gone.

"But he wants to play for Ireland one day."

Luke wasn't included in the Kiwis squad that was named last week, paying the price for an inconsistent NRL season with the New Zealand Warriors.

Aston told the Irish Examiner that Keary would have "100 per cent" played for Ireland, had he not had to have had hip surgery.

Ireland head to Australia next week, where they will try to acclimatise, before beginning their campaign on October 29 against Italy. They then face Papua New Guinea on November 5, and Wales on November 12 in their other matches.

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 - Stuff

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