Australia name very strong International Rules squad
Australian International Rules coach Chris Scott has named a very strong squad for next month's International Rules series in Adelaide.
Australia's squad features nine debutantes including two-time Brownlow medalist (the equivalent of Footballer of the Year) Gary Ablett Jr. and two-time Leigh Matthews award (Most Valuable Player) winner Nat Fyfe.
Joining Ablett Jr. and Fyfe in the squad are fellow first-time call ups Toby Greene, Michael Hibberd, Rory Laird, Rory Sloane, Zach Merrett, Paddy Ryder and Dayne Zorko.
The squad also includes Premiership winners Joel Selwood, Brendon Goddard, Scott Pendlebury, Shaun Burgoyne and 2016 Brownlow medalist Patrick Dangerfield.
Commenting on his selections, Scott said: "Selection in the Australian side is about both recognising the great players in our competition, and those players who are emerging as stars who will dominate the seasons to come," Scott said.
"As selectors, we needed to balance the team with players who have represented Australia before, and understand the game and how it is played against Ireland, and also look to the next generation of elite players who deserve the opportunity to represent us on an international stage.
"All Australian selection at some point in a player’s career was a pre-requisite for consideration, as we also believe that the best players want to learn from each other and provide an environment where they can be better again when they return to their clubs."
The squad will gather in Adelaide in the week before the first Test with Australia to play Ireland at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, November 12 followed by the second test at Perth's Domain Stadium on Saturday, November 18.
Gary Ablett (Gold Coast), All Australian 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (vice-captain), 2011 (captain), 2012 (vice-captain), 2013 (vice-captain), 2014. Never previously played IRS.
Eddie Betts (Adelaide), All Australian 2015, 2016, 2017. IRS representative 2010, 2015.
Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), All Australian 2014, 2014. IRS representative 2014.
Shaun Burgoyne (Hawthorn), All Australian 2006. IRS representative 2008.
Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong), All Australian 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017. IRS representative 2010, 2014, 2015.
Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle), All Australian 2014, 2015. Never previously played IRS.
Brendon Goddard (Essendon), All Australian 2009, 2010. IRS representative 2006, 2014, 2015.
Toby Greene (Greater Western Sydney). All Australian 2006. Never previously played IRS.
Michael Hibberd (Melbourne), All Australian 2017. Never previously played IRS.
Rory Laird (Adelaide), All Australian 2017. Never previously played IRS.
Zac Merrett (Essendon), All Australian 2017. Never previously played IRS.
Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), All Australian 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. IRS representative 2008.
Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide), All Australian 2017. Never previously played IRS.
Joel Selwood (Geelong), All Australian 2009, 2010, 2013 (captain), 2014 (captain), 2016 (captain), 2017. IRS representative 2014 (captain).
Rory Sloane (Adelaide), All Australian 2016. Never previously played IRS.
Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), All Australian 2013, 2015. IRS representative 2014
Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions), All Australian 2017. Never previously played IRS.