Friday 23 February 2018

Diarmuid Connolly to miss out on International Rules series

Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Sportsfile
Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Diarmuid Connolly and Con O'Callaghan look set to join Dublin colleague James McCarthy in making themselves unavailable for International Rules duty next month.

Connolly featured on the Irish squad for the 2015 Test in Dublin, the first time he was involved, but with club activity taking preference Connolly now looks like he is out.

O'Callaghan, who made such an impact this season, is also understood to be out. McCarthy ruled himself out last week, citing club action and work commitments at the time of the trip.

Manager Joe Kernan will announce his squad next week for the two-Test series and is still expecting to have several top players available.

Missing It is unclear if the 2015 captain Bernard Brogan will be part of it but Donegal's Michael Murphy, captain when Paul Earley was manager, will be available after missing out two years ago.

Ireland play Australia in the first Test in Australia on November 12 before moving on to Perth for the second Test six days later.

The squad will fly to Melbourne first on November 5 where they will commence preparations.

Australia named a very strong squad last week, further evidence of their renewed interest in the series with Gary Ablett available for the first time and Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield also a considerable asset.

Irish players in the AFL are currently at a record high but Kernan is restricting the numbers involved to just three with former Laois footballer Zach Tuohy (Geelong), Mayo's Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast) and Tyrone's Conor McKenna (Essendon), who has made a big impact in the AFL this year, set to be involved.

Irish Independent

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