Tuesday 12 December 2017

International Rules back on track as two dates confirmed

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

THE International Rules series will resume this winter after the Australians confirmed two dates for test matches Down Under in late October.

The GAA announced yesterday that the test dates are October 24 in Perth and October 31 in Melbourne.

The AFL initially offered to play just one game this season because they were having trouble finding dates, but the GAA would not agree to travel unless it involved two games.

These matches will mark the resumption of the series which was abandoned after the ill-discipline that marred it when last played in Ireland in 2006. Sean Boylan, who managed the Irish team then, was highly critical of the Australians, but will be charge again this year.

There has been disquiet since about Australian poaching of young Irish players and Adelaide Crows have just confirmed they are bringing over Dubliner Carl Dias on a four-week trial this summer.

Dias played at midfield for the Dublin minors last year and is already playing, at wing-back, for Kilmacud Crokes seniors.

He was spotted playing for Coláiste Eoin/St Benildus in an international rules challenge against Adelaide earlier this year.

Adelaide's GM of Football, John Reid, admitted yesterday plans for two new AFL teams next season and the draft concessions they will be allowed is one reason the Crows are trying to augment their list with Irish players for the first time.

"He's a young bloke that really impresses us," he said of Dias.

"It's not like he's being put on our list, he's coming out for a trial but his mental application as to what is involved impressed us and, obviously, we also think he's got the natural ability to pick up our game."

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