REVEALED - Ireland international rules squad named and Mayo's Aidan O'Shea unveiled as captain
MAYO powerhouse Aidan O'Shea will skipper the Irish International Rules panel that tours Australia next month.
And Monaghan sharpshooter Conor McManus has been appointed vice-captain by manager Joe Kernan for the two-test series against the Aussies in Adelaide and Perth.
Kernan today announced a provisional 21-man squad following the loss of Paul Kerrigan and Conor McKenna, to club commitments and injury respectively. Two more will be confirmed in the coming days after more scheduled training sessions.
Fourteen counties are represented among the 21, Mayo leading the contingent with four players and Kerry next with three - but there are no All-Ireland-winning Dubs on the touring party.
Team manager Kernan, whose backroom team includes Darragh Ó Sé, Pádraic Joyce and Dermot Earley said: "I'd like to congratulate all of the players who have made the panel and acknowledge not only their hard work and training but that of all of the players who trialed and trained with us since our preparations commenced.
"Everyone involved is enthused by the prospect of representing Ireland and we are fully aware of the challenge involved in trying to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup won against Australia at Croke Park two years ago.
"We are looking forward to pitting ourselves against the best the AFL has to offer in the coming weeks."
GAA President Aogán O Fearghail added: "Well done to all of the players who have been selected to represent Ireland in this year's series. I am aware of the preparation and efforts of the panel in recent weeks.
"I hope the large Irish community in Australia comes out and get behind the Irish team over the course of the two games and I am confident we will see two competitive tests exemplifying the best traits of our two games."
Valerie Hedin, External Communications Manager at sponsors EirGrid added: “We are extremely proud to sponsor this International Rules side and extend our very best wishes to Aidan O’Shea in his role as captain of the team. Sport is a huge part of the culture in both countries, and indeed plays a very important role in every community in Ireland, similarly to the national grid in providing a secure supply of electricity.
“This competition offers both countries the opportunity to show their national games on an international stage which is very special. We wish Joe, Aidan and the travelling side all the very best in their preparations and for the games ahead.”
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.
Ireland 2017 International Rules Squad
Niall Morgan (Edendork, Tyrone)
Chris Barrett (Belmullet, Mayo)
Gary Brennan (Clondegad, Clare)
Eoin Cadogan (Douglas, Cork)
Killian Clarke (Shercock, Cavan)
Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers, Kerry)
Kevin Feely (Athy, Kildare)
Paul Geaney (Dingle, Kerry)
Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast/Ballaghadereen, Mayo)
Brendan Harrison (Aghamore, Mayo)
Conor Mc Manus (Clontibret, Monaghan)
Michael Murphy (Glenswilly, Donegal)
Niall Murphy (Coolera/Strandhill, Sligo)
Paul Murphy (Rathmore, Kerry)
Karl O'Connell (Tyholland, Monaghan)
Aidan O'Shea (Breaffy, Mayo)
Niall Sludden (Dromore, Tyrone)
Enda Smith (Boyle, Roscommon)
Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen, Tipperary)
Zach Tuohy (Geelong/Portlaoise, Laois)
Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin/Clonberne, Galway)
Stand By Players
Mattie Donnelly (Trillick, Tyrone)
Niall Grimley (Madden Raparees, Armagh)
Connaire Harrison (Glasdrumman, Down)
Caolan Mooney (Rostrevor, Down)
Sean Murphy (Fenagh, Carlow)
Brendan Murphy (Rathvilly, Carlow)
Sean Powter (Douglas, Cork)