Thursday 18 October 2018

Joe Kernan reveals the final two players in his International Rules squad and explains why no Dublin players are involved

Ireland manager Joe Kernan in attendance during the Ireland International Rules Series team announcement at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ireland manager Joe Kernan in attendance during the Ireland International Rules Series team announcement at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland International Rules manager Joe Kernan has said that he doesn't believe there was any policy to keep Dublin players from taking part in this year's International Rules series in Australia.

"I actually spoke to a number of Dublin players earlier in the week and they have holiday plans and work commitments," he told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

"All those Dublin players, people have got to understand the sacrifices they've made over the past three years. Unfortunately this time year, club football takes over, especially for successful counties like Mayo and Dublin.

"We trained five Friday nights in a row and they have club matches on Saturdays. We had to work with the players we had.

"Some of the players who could make it couldn't go because they had work commitments given their sacrifices over the year. They couldn't get time off work.

"Some of them were very disappointed. They'd loved to have gone but it just wasn't possible. At this time of year the club comes first."

The 2002 All-Ireland winning manager named 21 of the 23-man squad yesterday with the other two to be selected from a standby list.

Sean Powter of Cork and Armagh's Niall Grimley were the final players chosen.

"We picked them last night after the final trial match in Croke Park. Sean Powter from Cork and Niall Grimley from Armagh are the two players to fill the last two stops," he added.

It means disappointment for the Carlow duo of Brendan Murphy and Sean Murphy, the Down pair of Caolan Mooney and Connaire Harrison and Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly.

Ireland play the first of two tests at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, November 12 and the second test is scheduled to take place six days later on November 18 at the Domain Stadium.

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