Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Hughes headed to Australia to replace unlucky Hanley

12 November 2017; Pearce Hanley of Ireland after the Virgin Australia International Rules Series 1st test at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
12 November 2017; Pearce Hanley of Ireland after the Virgin Australia International Rules Series 1st test at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Monaghan’s Darren Hughes is on his way to Australia to join the Irish International Rules squad following the departure of Pearce Hanley who suffered a hand injury during yesterday’s first test in Adelaide.

The Monaghan man will join the squad in Perth ,which hosts the second Test next Saturday.

“Darren ticks all the boxes. He covers us in a lot of positions,” said manager, Joe Kernan.

Mayo-native Hanley, now a top AFL professional with Gold Coast, sustained the hand injury in the second half, completing a miserable week during which he also was hit by a stomach bug.

“It’s unfortunate for Pearce - he was playing very well,” said Kernan.

Enda Smith (Roscommon) and Niall Murphy (Sligo), both of whom missed the game due to illness, will be assessed later in the week. They were unable to attend yesterday’s game.

If one - or both - are unable to play next Saturday, Derry's Conor Glass, who is now attached to the Hawthorn club in Melbourne may be drafted in.

Ireland lost the first test by ten points (63-53) but Kernan remains upbeat about saving the series.

“We can still do it. Ten points is not a big margin in this game. Things can change very quickly as we discovered yesterday,” he said.

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