AUSTRALIAN defender Nick Smith has been getting tips from Irish AFL star Tadhg Kennelly on how to kick the round ball ahead of the upcoming November 21 test match against Ireland.
Smith's kick-to-kick sessions with Kennelly in Sydney have been part of his preparation for the upcoming 2015 Virgin Australia International Rules Series.
Smith will join the team in New York next week as training begins for the one-off test at Croke Park.
The 27-year-old told sydneyswans.com.au he was looking forward to having a good time on the trip but the team's ultimate objective was to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup that Australia won in Perth last year.
"We'll take it really seriously and we're going over there to win," Smith said.
"Obviously kicking the round ball is something totally different so it's good to have a Tadhg Kennelly in my corner. I have had a couple of kicks with him."
Smith played International Rules for Australia for the first time in 2014 when Australia prevailed over Ireland by 10 points.
He said the experience of training with some of the game's best players and playing with the round ball last year would stand him in good stead for this trip.
"It does take a fair bit of practice to get good at [kicking the round ball]," Smith said.
He said the role he might play in the test would not be determined until the team came together, but he imagined he would once again play a familiar role deep in defence.
The Australian team, coached by Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, will arrive in New York early next week for a series of training sessions and a practice match before travelling to Dublin for the test.
The group will also attend NFL and NBA games while in New York, be officially presented with their jumpers and choose the Australian captain.