Ireland’s Nations Cup squad for Rotterdam named this evening suggests that team manager Rodrigo Pessoa is gearing up for a serious run at league points on Friday week.

Perhaps the most experienced line-up yet fielded in the 2017 season, the quintet of Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny, Cian O’Connor, Mark McAuley and Shane Breen will give Pessoa a richly talented choice when he comes down to selecting his final four.

The challenge his riders face is that Ireland has not won a Nations Cup in Rotterdam since 2000, and has been victorious only three times in the last 60 years.

Pessoa said this evening: “We are putting forward a very good team in Rotterdam and have high expectations. We are halfway through the Super League season, all events are now points scoring for Ireland and this is the first of four that we are really concentrating on.”

Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa

Following Rotterdam, Ireland’s remaining Super League Nations Cup fixtures will be at Falsterbo in Sweden (July 14th), Hickstead in England (July 28th), and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the RDS in Dublin (August 11th) where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy.

The Irish squad for Rotterdam is:

Bertram Allen riding Hector Van d’Abdijhoeve
Shane Breen with Golden Hawk
Darragh Kenny and Charly Chaplin S
Mark McAuley riding Utchan de Belheme
Cian O’Connor with Good Luck

The competition is scheduled for 2pm Irish time on June 23rd, and livestream will be available by subscription from FEItv. Updates and pictures will be available on We Live Horse during the afternoon.

Jack Burns