Holywood’s Tom McKibbin will be amongst four players set to make their Irish debuts when the Home Internationals takes place at Lahinch Golf Club from September 11-13.
The 16-year old star is the youngest player selected, earning promotion from the Boys team after a year in which he won the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.
Malone’s Matthew McClean and Keith Egan from Carton House have also been selected for the first time following impressive seasons while Rob Brazill (22) from Naas completes the four newcomers in the side.
Brazill gained his cap automatically through the Bridgestone Order of Merit, which he won after pipping Galway’s Ronan Mullarney (23) who also secured his place through the merit table.
Ireland have become the dominant force at the Home Internationals in recent seasons. Few would have predicted that 2014’s Triple Crown success would be the start of an unprecedented run, culminating at Moortown in 2017 when Ireland completed four in a row.
And they’ll be well represented and hard to beat once more with Ireland’s three Walker Cup players spearheading the line-up for this year’s renewal.
Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) and James Sugrue (Mallow) know what it takes to succeed around Lahinch. All three players have won the South of Ireland at the Co Clare venue in recent seasons. Purcell made his championship breakthrough at the South in 2016 and was succeeded as champion by Sugrue. Rafferty captured his first major title at the South in 2018.
Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell, who delivered the decisive points for Ireland in 2016 and again the following year, returns to the team for Lahinch after a year out through injury. Campbell, 32, played on all four winning Irish teams from 2014 to 2017 and regained his place on the team also through the Bridgestone Order of Merit.
Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock) returns to the team having last played in green at the 2016 Home Internationals.
Ireland team in full: Rob Brazill (Naas), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Keith Egan (Carton House), Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock), Matthew McClean (Malone), Tom McKibbin (Holywood), Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), James Sugrue (Mallow).