/ Rugby

Liam Finn aiming to catch the eye of top-flight coaches at World Cup

Updated: Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 13:57 | Comments

Liam Finn will lead Ireland out for the World Cup opener against Fiji
Liam Finn will lead Ireland out for the World Cup opener against Fiji

One of the Championship's most outstanding half-backs is hoping that some big-stage performances for Ireland in the World Cup could bring him to the attention of Super League coaches.

Liam Finn has arguably been the best player outside of the top flight for the last four years - a string-puller of the highest order at Featherstone - but none of the 14 Super League bosses have asked him to make the step up.

As a result he continues to work as an electrician and plays part-time for Featherstone, but, over the next fortnight at least, will be training full-time and leading the Wolfhounds into Group A fixtures with Australia, England and first of all Fiji in Rochdale on Monday.

Heightened interest allied with good shows from Finn could well be an arm-twister for any interested parties, but, as much as the 29-year-old would like a crack at the big time, he wonders if he will forever be a victim of an obsession with imported players.

"I wouldn't like to say no, I won't play in Super League, because I'd certainly back myself if I got the opportunity, but I've never had that," he said.

"I've just gone about my business the best that I can. I'm not the most fashionable player in a rugby league sense but I feel I have stuff to offer as a half-back and an organisational player.

"It irks me a little and hurts to see players I don't consider as good as myself playing, but at the end of the day rugby league is a game of opinions and people who have opinions who count – 14 of the them – have never wanted to give me a chance in Super League and I have to respect that because their jobs are on the line."

Finn can at least take comfort from that fact that he has always been wanted by his country.

Ireland-qualified through his dad, Brendan, who died in 1993, Finn considers national selection to be the highest of accolades.

He knows many in Ireland are yet to give league credence but is ready to steam ahead in pursuit of a last-eight spot at least.

"I lost my dad when I was 10, when I got the chance to play for Ireland I jumped at it" - Liam Finn

"My dad was born in Wexford and moved over with family when he was young, with my uncle the first born in England.

"I lost my dad when I was 10, when I got the chance to play for Ireland I jumped at it," Finn added.

"I see it as a privilege every time I do it and that's why I'm not one of these people who comes and goes for the fancy games.

"I want to be there year in, year out, and that's what I have done for Ireland.

"I have always treated it with the respect it deserves.

"What we need to do now is get some interest in the game, but that's not even touching on the battle if they're serious in Ireland, which I doubt anybody is.

"Getting the interest there will help, though, and I hope people can come along and get gripped by it."

Ireland's first hurdle is not the easier to climb. Fiji are a formidable outfit at the best of times, but, with the fixture in Rochdale, they have a further weapon in their armoury.

The Greater Manchester town boasts the largest Fijian community outside of London, with hundreds of residents of the island heading to England in the trail of rugby union players Orisi Dawai and Joe Levula who signed for Rochdale Hornets in 1961.

"It has been an amazing experience for us to be here and see so many friendly people and hear their Fijian voices," coach Rick Stone said.

"We are so thankful to the community and the support they are giving us.

"We look forward to seeing them at the games. It should be good fun."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use