Indigenous All Stars to Represent Australia in 2013 International Rules Series
Wednesday, July 03 2013 @ 05:55 AM ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The AFL today announced the Indigenous All Stars would be selected to represent Australia in the 2013 International Rules Series, to be played in Ireland this October.
AIS-AFL Academy Head Coach and former Sydney Swans games-record holder Michael O’Loughlin will coach the side, with the senior coaching panel to be made up of Rodney Eade, Tadhg Kennelly and Andrew McLeod.
AFL Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan said the AFL had explored the concept of the All Stars representing Australia after senior indigenous players across the AFL player group had sought greater opportunities for the All Stars to come together as a team.
“To the best of our knowledge, the All Stars representing the AFL in International Rules against Ireland will be the first All-Indigenous team to represent a national sporting code at senior level overseas since the first cricket team toured England in 1868, more than 150 years ago,” Mr McLachlan said.
“It is our belief the All Stars coming together, with the commitment made by senior indigenous players across the competition, will reinvigorate matches between Australia and Ireland provide us with a great opportunity to regain the Cormac McAnallen Trophy.
“The idea to bring the All Stars together again to play came about following a discussion between senior current Indigenous members of the AFL playing group and the AFL executive, following the All Stars camp and match earlier this year,” he said.
“Since that time, the player group has been extremely support and Michael and his coaching staff will now work through the selection process with a final squad to be named in September, as players complete their finals commitments.”
Australia will play Test matches in Cavan and Dublin in October, and secured a 2-0 victory in the most recent series in Ireland in 2010 under former coach Mick Malthouse, before losing 2-0 in Australia in 2011.