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Bosses rule out more Rules violence

IRISH manager Anthony Tohill and Australian boss Rodney Eade have ruled out a return to the violent scenes which have marred previous International Rules series ahead of the start of the 2011 installment.

"I think it has to be played in that (good) spirit if it's going to have a future," Tohill said.

"We're very mindful of our responsibilities to the future of the game and the people that come behind us -- the coaches and the players that have come behind us -- so that they have the opportunity to play for their country.

"It's too big a thing to be stuffed up by someone misbehaving on a football pitch and the players all know the boundaries.

"They know what's acceptable on a football pitch and what isn't and certainly we're very aware of our responsibilities.

"If you look at the way the series was played last year, it was played in a very sporting and hard way.

"There were no outbursts of violence like in the past.


"We don't want to see that and if that returns the game will have no future. We're expecting the games to be hard but we're expecting them to be fair," stressed Tohill.

Tohill's Australian counterpart Eade agreed.

"I think the game, since it happened (in previous series), has been played in a good spirit. Both teams want to win.

"They'll be going hard at it and it will be very competitive but I think it will be played in the spirit of what we want and (will continue) a good relationship between the two countries."

Tohill denied that last year's series had gone to the other end of the spectrum and become "sanitised".

"I wouldn't accept that, no. Brad (Green) who played in those games and Ciarán (McKeever) who played in them are aware of the intensity they were played at.

"There were physical confrontations in those games that are very demanding on the body, that's real physical confrontation, not aggression and not violence -- it was played in a very sporting way and was fantastic to watch."


While the team managers maybe setting a tone of "peace in our times", Kerry's Kieran Donaghy is preparing for a physical battle against the Aussies in tomorrow's first Test at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

"It's all about having no fear that you're facing professional guys who are proud Australians and don't want to be beaten on their own patch in front of 45,000 people, and however many more are watching back home on television. Take them on and don't back down. If you do that much, you're in with a shout."

Donaghy believes that the Irish team have built up a strong unity of purpose with the extra time the squad have spent together, owing to the Irish being the "travelling" team.

"If the games were in Ireland, we wouldn't be meeting until Thursday. Instead, we've been together all week and got a lot of hard work done," he said.

"That's what you need to do because you know what you're going to get against Australia.

"Going around being nice to each other is a waste of time because at the end of the week you're up against some fella who's looking to 'kill' you."