Friday 20 October 2017

Colm O'Rouke: Playing it hard but fair is the best compromise of all

Recent changes to the international rules code will help Ireland, writes Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

The Aussies are coming, so what seems to be the response?

With less than a week to go before the first test in Limerick, the publicity surrounding the games is underwhelming to say the least. Maybe this week the machine will crank up and ensure a good crowd at the first test. If that is a good quality match with a balance between legitimate aggression and skilful football, it should be possible to fill Croke Park for the second game, especially as packages on admission charges are very reasonable.

There are quite a few GAA people who would prefer if the Australians never made it north of the equator and view this process of international compromise as having a negative effect on our game in general. Yet as a supporter of this process, I think that the ills of Gaelic football could hardly be laid at the door of mainly friendly competition between the two countries. If anything, frees and sideline kicks from the hand have improved the flow of our game, while the sharing of knowledge on training and recovery methods, diet and general healthcare among elite athletes is valuable to everyone. And administrators can learn a lot from each other too. Isolation does not work in economics or sport.

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