Friday 19 January 2018

Aussies vow to avoid conflict

AUSTRALIA are not going to walk away from confrontation against Ireland on Friday, but they aren't going to start any unnecessary rows, insisted their coach Mick Malthouse.

He has laid down a non-negotiable demand on each of his players for the two International Rules Tests in Ireland, starting this weekend.

The Collingwood coach explained that he saw it as critical that his players behave in a constructive manner in order to continue growing relations between the two countries.

In previous series, Australia's aggressive nature has almost buried the concept, with the 2006 series in Ireland seen as a watershed, with then Irish manager Sean Boylan accusing the Australians of "thuggery."

The 2008 International Rules series generated a lot of good will and Malthouse is determined that this momentum is not slowed.

"We know we have an obligation to make sure the game is played in a spirit that ensures this competition goes beyond this year," he said.

"If there's going to be niggle, we can't turn a blind eye to it. But we don't want to retaliate, and I don't think the Irish, by any stretch of the imagination, will want to cause problems with the game.

"My wish, totally, is that anything won is going to be fair and square."

Irish Independent

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