Two-time AFL best and fairest winner Gary Ablett withdraws from International Rules Series
Two-time Brownlow meadlist Gary Ablett Jr. has withdrawn from the 2017 International Rules Series citing personal reasons.
Ablett, an eight-time All-Australian, was set to make his international debut against Ireland at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, however, he will now withdraw from the series after an AFL spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the 33-year-old had removed himself from the series due to personal reasons.
Ablett's sister Natasha passed away last month after authorities were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive the woman at her Norlane home in Geelong, Victoria.
Ablett subsequently secured a move to his former side the Geelong Cats a week later after the Gold Coast Suns traded the two-time Premiership winner, a Round 2 pick (24) and a 2018 Round 4 pick in exchange for an end of Round 1 pick (19) and a 2018 Round 2 pick.
Ablett headlined a strong Australian side that also featured fellow Brownlow medalists Patrick Dangerfield and Nat Fyfe.
The Irish team arrived in Melbourne last night minus captain Aidan O'Shea and Cavan's Killian Clarke, who were delayed for personal reasons. They will fly in today.
The squad will remain in Melbourne until Thursday, when they fly to Adelaide for the first International Rules game in the city since 2001.