International Rules plan for New York

November 22, 2014 • Australian Rules, Sport,

International Rules returns to Australia next month with a one-off test in Perth.

International Rules returns to Australia tonight in Perth.

The AFL and GAA have discussed the possibility of a International Rules test in New York as soon as next year.

The plan, which has yet to be confirmed, would see teams from Ireland and Australia face off in the US for the first time.

The two organisations will hold more talks after tonight’s test in Perth but reports that the game at Patersons Stadium is almost sold out have given a shot in the arm for the hybrid code.

The future of the concept is in doubt after two one-sided series last year in Ireland and in Australia in 2011.

The AFL has recommitted to the code however by naming a star-studded team for tonight’s test.

They have also drafted in Kerryman Tadhg Kennelly to help the Australian players adapt to the round ball game.

At a preview event in Perth’s Irish Club, Kennelly said the Aussies were fired up for the test match.

“The intensity in the camp is overwhelming. They really want to win this one so I think it will be a fantastic event,” he said.

On a panel with GAA commentating legend Michéal Ó Muircheartaigh, former Brownlow Medallist Ross Glendenning and RTE’s Marty Morrissey, the former Sydney Swan said that both sides wanted the concept to continue.

“The [AFL] clubs are not that keen on it and their power has increased in recent years. But the players love it and they need to speak up. They want to represent their country,” he said.

Kennelly predicted a close result with Australia to edge it by a point.

The Listowel man also revealed that the AFL had scoped out a plan for an all-Irish team to join its competition in the future.

Irish coach Paul Earley said his players would not be intimidated by their professional opponents.

“There is no sense of intimidation,” he said at a press conference on the eve of the match, “it is just a great challenge.”

“You would love to have a squad for a lot longer so that you could perfect the tackle and things like that. Some of our lads like the physicality of it and some of the players would probably like to have the tackle similar to the Australian tackle in our Gaelic game.

“I don’t think that is going to happen but we have players who have played a bit of rugby as well.”

Live coverage of the match on 7Mate from 8.30pm AEDT.





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