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Subi farewell could see Aussie clean sweep

Nat Fyfe will be part of an emotional farewell to Subiaco Oval on Saturday - AFL,International Rules,Joel Selwood,Brendon Goddard,Nat Fyfe,Scott Pendlebury
Nat Fyfe will be part of an emotional farewell to Subiaco Oval on Saturday

SATURDAY afternoon's Virgin Australia International Rules Test between Australia and Ireland will see some of the game's greats officially farewell Subiaco Oval, ahead of the opening of Perth's new stadium in 2018.

Australia is aiming for a clean sweep of the 20th International Rules series, after last week's 63-53 win over Ireland at Adelaide Oval.

The home team will again be represented by some of the competition's biggest stars including Nat Fyfe, Shaun Burgoyne, Patrick Dangerfield, Eddie Betts, Luke Shuey, Rory Sloane, Chad Wingard and Brendon Goddard. 

It will be local hero Fyfe's last chance to grace the ground at Subi, the stadium he has played 79 games at since his round five, 2010 debut.

Subiaco first hosted an AFL game in round one, 1987, between West Coast and Richmond; the Eagles' first appearance in the competition. 

Fremantle joined the League in 1995 and played its first game at the ground in round nine that year against the Brisbane Bears. 

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Overall the ground has hosted 545 AFL games, the last of which was between West Coast and Adelaide in round 23 this year, with the Eagles going on to play two away finals and the Dockers failing to qualify for September action.

A crowd of 30,000-plus is expected for Saturday, after 25,502 witnessed last Sunday's Adelaide Test in searing heat.

The attendance in the decider will be telling as to whether the concept of International Rules has been revived as a crowd-pleaser.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood is expected to play on Saturday after the ankle injury he sustained towards the end of the AFL season flared in the lead-up to the first Test, while Brisbane Lion Dayne Zorko (hip) is also tipped to feature.

But Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury has been ruled out after breaking a finger in last Sunday's win over the Irish, while Melbourne's Michael Hibberd (calf) remains in doubt and Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder will be rested as planned.

Pendlebury isn't expected to need surgery on his finger, and has remained in camp with the Australians and his family in Perth this week.  

North Melbourne best and fairest winner Shaun Higgins was added to the squad this week.

The Irish have made a few changes with Gold Coast's Pearce Hanley (broken hand) a forced omission, with ex-Carlton rookie Ciaran Sheehan and Monaghan's Darren Hughes additions to their squad. 

The two countries are playing for the Cormac McAnallen Trophy, which was renamed in 2004 after a champion Irish Gaelic footballer who tragically passed away at the age of 24. 

McAnallen represented Ireland in International Rules in 2001, 2002 and 2003. 

The conditions in Perth are expected to be mild on Saturday with the mercury tipped to hit 24 degrees after morning showers and a likely thunderstorm.


Second Test: Domain Stadium, Saturday, November 18 - 4.45pm AWST