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Silky veteran gets nod to skipper Australia

International Rules: a fiery hybrid history The IRS series has a long and at times ferocious history
Shaun Burgoyne has been named captain of Australia - AFL,International Rules,Shaun Burgoyne
Shaun Burgoyne has been named captain of Australia

HAWTHORN veteran Shaun Burgoyne has been given the honour of captaining the star-studded Australian squad for the Virgin Australia International Rules Series.

Burgoyne was chosen ahead of club captains Joel Selwood, Scott Pendlebury and Nat Fyfe.

Australia takes on Ireland in the first Test at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, with the second Test to be played in Perth on November 18.

Pendlebury said Burgoyne was an extremely popular appointment when the players were told at a team dinner on Thursday night.

"Everyone was stoked for him," Pendlebury said.

"Everyone got around him and it's a great acknowledgement for his career in AFL.

"He's a four-time premiership player and I think he's played like 50 finals games.

"The whole group is really happy with the choice."

It's Burgoyne's first time representing Australia since 2008.

The 35-year-old has had an outstanding career, playing 341 AFL games with Port Adelaide (157 games from 2001-09) and the Hawks (184 games from 2010-17).

He is a four-time premiership player, with the Power in 2004 and part of the Hawks' side that won three straight flags from 2013-2015, and was also an All Australian in 2006.

Burgoyne's family were on hand at Football Park on Friday morning as the Australian squad completed its main training session.

"He's one of my favourite players ever since I came into the League," Collingwood skipper Pendlebury said of Burgoyne.

"I've admired the way he plays his football, his ability in the midfield, and when he goes back or forward, whatever he does, he's such a team player.

"I'm really looking forward to playing alongside him.

"He's very vocal already in team meetings and it's great to sit back and learn and listen from him."

 

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First Test: Adelaide Oval, Sunday, November 12
Second Test: Domain Stadium, Saturday, November 18