Five Irishmen named in Walker Cup squad
Conor Purcell. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Conor Purcell. Picture: Pat Cashman

Great Britain and Ireland will be trying to win back the Walker at Royal Liverpool from September 7-8 and at least five Irishmen will have a chance to make the 10-man team after being named in the initial 26-strong squad.

They include Portmarnock's Conor Purcell, who won the Australian Amateur Championship in January, is joined by this year's West of Ireland champion Caolan Rafferty from Dundalk, 2018 Eisenhower Trophy player John Murphy from Kinsale, Kilkenny's 18-year old tyro Mark Power and Mallow's James Sugrue, the 2017 South of Ireland champion.

Ireland had an unprecedented five players on the side at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015 when Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin, Jack Hume, Gavin Moynihan and Gary Hurley helped Great Britain and Ireland win comfortably.

However, Paul McBride was the only Irish representative on the team that lost 19-7 at the Los Angeles Country Club two years ago, and there are high hopes of a stronger Irish presence  this year.

British Boys Amateur champion, Conor Gough (16) leads a 12-strong  English contingent while six Scots, including 50-year-old Euan McIntosh, and three Welshmen have also been chosen.

The squad will gather at Royal Liverpool for a practice session next week before a reduced squad is named for a second practice session in July.

However, GB&I captain Craig Watson and his selectors will monitor the form and results of all players throughout the summer, including those outside the squad, before naming the 10-man team in August.

They include the likes of Hermitage’s Rowan Lester, who has been out of action with injury since the end of last year, not to mention the other leading members of the Irish squad.

GB&I Walker Cup squad (age):

  • Jake Burnage, Saunton (23);

  • Kieran Cantley, Liberton (21);

  • Ben Chamberlain, Padeswood & Buckley (21);

  • Archie Davies, Carlisle (17);

  • Alex Fitzpatrick, Hallamshire (20);

  • Bailey Gill, Lindrick (21);

  • Conor Gough, Stoke Park (16);

  • David Hague, Malton & Norton (22);

  • Harry Hall, West Cornwall (21);

  • Jamie Stewart, Old Course Ranfurly (19);

  • Jake Hapgood, Southerndown (22);

  • Benjamin Jones, Northamptonshire County (19);

  • Ryan Lumsden, Royal Wimbledon (22);

  • Euan McIntosh, Turnhouse (50);

  • John Murphy, Kinsale (20);

  • Joseph Pagdin, Lake Nona (17);

  • Thomas Plumb, Yeovil (20);

  • Conor Purcell, Portmarnock (21);

  • Mark Power, Kilkenny (18);

  • Caolan Rafferty, Dundalk (26);

  • Tom Sloman, Taunton & Pickeridge (22);

  • Sandy Scott, Nairn (20);

  • James Sugrue, Mallow (22);

  • Tom Thurloway, Chartham Park (21);

  • Euan Walker, Kilmarnock-Barassie (23);

  • Robin Williams, Peterborough Milton (17).