THEINDIGENOUS All-Stars will represent Australia in this year's InternationalRules Series, and coach Michael O'Loughlin is confident he will lure the creamof the crop for the two-test tour of Ireland.
In responseto flagging interest from players and supporters, the AFL hopes to reinvigoratethe series by selecting a team made up entirely of indigenous footballers.
Some ofthe biggest names in the game have committed to playing, with dual Brownlowmedallist Adam Goodes and Hawthorn star Shaun Burgoyne both instrumental inlaunching the concept.
In amajor boost for the series, Lance Franklin could also represent Australia forthe first time.
"They'veall confirmed pretty much – they were the guys who brought it up and reallydesperately wanted to play," O'Loughlin said on Wednesday.
"We'llbe putting the acid on them, but we wouldn't have to twist their arm too much.
"They'veall committed to play and are looking forward to chucking on the Australian jumper."
Burgoyne, who helped announce the new concept on Wednesday,said he had spoken to teammate Franklin, who was "very keen on the conceptand putting his hand up to play".
AFL deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan said the International Rulesseries needed reinvigoration and the commitment of senior indigenous playershad been significant in forming the new concept.
The idea gathered momentum in February when senior indigenousplayers and leaders met with the AFL executive, including CEO Andrew Demetriou.
When asked if non-indigenous players would be disappointedthey were not eligible for this year's series, McLachlan said, "Theplayers have had plenty of chances historically to represent Australia in theInternational Rules series and haven't been available."
"I don't think there's any disguising the fact in 2011there weren't many of our senior players available to play in thatseries," he said.
"As we've looked then to reinvigorate the series, thefact that the Indigenous All-Stars wanted to come together and representAustralia was exciting for us."
O'Loughlin, who has senior coaching ambitions at AFL level,will be supported on the tour by senior assistant Rodney Eade, as well as TadhgKennelly, Andrew McLeod and Chris Johnson.
McLachlan said the AFL would assess this year's seriesbefore making a decision on whether the Indigenous All-Stars would continue torepresent Australia against Ireland.
Ireland, which holds the Cormac McAnallen Cup after its 2011series win, has supported the new concept.
Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him onTwitter @AFL_Nathan