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Ireland’s chances in the upcoming 2013 Rugby League World Cup have received a significant boost, with former Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards making himself available for the tournament.

The 30-year-old son of Irish parents turned out for Wolfhounds in the 2008 World Cup and 2009 European Championship, but missed the more recent international tournaments due to off-season surgery.

“I will definitely be putting my hand up to play for Ireland again,” the 2010 Man of Steel told Wigan’s website

“The World Cup is a very special competition. Everyone wants the international game to grow and unfortunately it’s only around World Cup time that seems to happen which is a bit of a shame.

“I have some great memories from the last World Cup with the Ireland squad. We just enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed just going out there and playing.

“I have spoken to quite a few lads who played for Ireland last time and they are keen to play again.”

Ireland has been grouped with England, Fiji and Australia in the upcoming tournament, and will take on the Kangaroos at Limerick’s Thomond Park on November 9 in a match that could determine whether the Wolfhounds qualify for the World Cup Finals.

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