Sligo’s Niall Murphy has been named on the Ireland International Rules panel for the first time.
The Coolera/Strandhill sharpshooter is one of 21 players named by Joe Kernan today for the trip to Australia next month.
Donegal captain Michael Murphy, who also previously captained the Irish team for the event, is once again named in the squad.
Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea, who is currently playing basketball with EJ’s Sligo All Stars, has been appointed captain.
Fellow Mayo natives Brendan Harrison, Chris Barrett and the Aussie-based Pearce Hanley are also included.
Kerry provide three players in Paul Geaney, Paul Murphy and Peter Crowley.
In all, 14 counties are represented, with Monaghan’s Conor McManus as vice-captain.
Ireland’s first test against Australia will be at the Adelaide Oval on November 12, with a meeting in Perth coming six days later.
Following the loss of Paul Kerrigan and Conor McKenna, to club commitments and injury respectively, the Irish management have selected 21 players with two more to be confirmed in the coming days after more scheduled training sessions.
In all 14 counties are represented in the 21-strong panel with Mayo leading the contingent with four players and Kerry next with three.
Team manager Kernan, whose backroom team includes Darragh O 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 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, Perth.
(team list below)
|Peter Crowley||Laune Rangers||Kerry|
|Pearce Hanley||Gold Coast/Ballaghadereen||Mayo|
|Conor Mc Manus||Clontibret||Monaghan|
|Aidan O Shea||Breaffy||Mayo|
|Niall Grimley||Madden Raparees||Armagh|