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Australian Squad Named For 2017 Virgin Australia International Rules Series

The AFL today announced the Australian squad for the two-test Virgin Australia International Rules Series to be played next month.

Australia will host Ireland at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday November 12 (3.30pm ACDT/ 4pm AEDT) and then at Domain Stadium on Saturday November 18 (4.45pm AWST/ 7.45pm AEDT), and the coaching panel, led by Chris Scott and supported by Ross Lyon and Brad Scott, has now finalised the core of its line-up after confirming available All Australian players.

The Squad is: Gary Ablett (Gold Coast Suns), Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Shaun Burgoyne (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats), Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle), Brendon Goddard (Essendon), Toby Greene (GWS Giants), Michael Hibberd (Melbourne), Rory Laird (Adelaide Crows), Zac Merrett (Essendon), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide), Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats), Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions).

The captain and leadership group will be named when the squad comes together in the lead up to the first Test, while the selectors have the capacity to add further selections closer to the matches, once they can assess other players’ availability from their leave periods.

Ireland currently holds the Cormac McAnnellen Trophy after its victory in the one-off Test at Croke Park in Dublin in 2015.

Scott said the selection panel had sought to combine those players that had previously represented Australia, and understood the requirements of the game, alongside those debutants who had produced outstanding seasons in 2017 as All Australian players and dominated the AFL competition.

“Selection in the Australian side is about both recognising the great players in our competition, and those players who are emerging as stars who will dominate the seasons to come,” Scott said.

“As selectors, we needed to balance the team with players who have represented Australia before, and understand the game and how it is played against Ireland, and also look to the next generation of elite players who deserve the opportunity to represent us on an international stage.

“All Australian selection at some point in a player’s career was a pre-requisite for consideration, as we also believe that the best players want to learn from each other and provide an environment where they can be better again when they return to their clubs,” he said.