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Saturday, March 25 2017 @ 10:22 AM ACDT

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Two Test IRS returns in 2017

International Rules
It has been agreed that Australia will host Ireland in a two-test Virgin Australia International Rules Series to be played in Australia in November next year.
 
The return to a two-match series in 2017, to be played over the weekends of November 11 and 18 at venues still to be confirmed, comes on the back of successful one-off Virgin Australia Tests in Perth in 2014 and Dublin last year that reinvigorated the series.
 
The GAA and the AFL have also agreed in principle to play a two-Test series back in Ireland in 2019.
 
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Heil and Corrigan on board as training begins

Australia

It was very disappointing for international footy followers at the end of the AFL Women's draft when no international players (by IC rules at least) were selected. Kate Shierlaw and Lauren Spark were on the lists which was some vindication of the footy played in London, but they were still Aussie women.

So it would come down to the free agency period, and fortunately there would be an international foot in the door.  Firstly Collingwood added Canadian Kendra Heil to their list.  Perhaps missing out on the draft as she missed most of the 2016 season due to a serious ACL injury, Heil was also close to being drafted in 2015 (when there were just the two women's teams for the exhibition match). 

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Canadian development teams head to Europe in '17

North America

AFL Canada yesterday announced they will be sending their men's and women's development teams to Europe in 2017. The women's development team the Midnight Suns competed in the 2014 International Cup alongside their official team the Northern Lights.

But 2017 will see them compete against the Irish Banshees and the Great Britain Swans who will both be warming up for IC17. A fourth team made up of the best players from the four AFL London women's clubs will also compete.

The men's development team has previously only played matches against the USA as part of the 49th Parallel Cup in the past.  But they will play for the first time outside North America against the Irish Warriors, the Great Britain Bulldogs and a fourth team yet to be named.

Games are set to be played on the 19th-21st of May 2017; with games being played on the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.

It is a welcome push for more international footy matches outside the International Cup tournament.  The USAFL have indicated they will send a team to Europe in 2018 and Great Britain have indicated they may play in Canada in 2018.

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Cairns Downs Townsville For AFL Masters’ Title (An Insiders Story)

AustraliaCardwell sits midway between the northern Queensland cities of Cairns and Townsville. Both suffer from, and tolerate, the November heat but the grass doesn’t. Completely brown, devoid of life and feeling like sandpaper, the surface of the Cardwell oval was a challenge in itself.

The football gods must have been in a benevolent mood, however, providing occasional light showers and cloud cover to make the temperature and conditions agreeable.

First up was the feature match – the championship match of AFL Masters Over 35’s season, playing for the highly coveted Cardwell Cup. The Cairns Stingers took the field against the Townsville Sharks. The rivalry is always intense between these two cities – whether playing footy, backgammon or chess – but with the ageing teams determined to relive yesteryear, this game was serious.
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St. Petersburg Cats Claim Unity Day Cup

Europe

The following article comes from Alex Andryushin as he reports on the final leg of the AFL Russia Unity Day Cup, taken out this year by the St Petersburg Cats. Such has been the growth of the game in Russia that St Petersburg can now truly mount a case for a long term rivalry. Also, having two teams again in Moscow sees the game developing further in the national capital. 

 

On a freezing day of November 4th, three Russian teams played the final tournament of 2016 – Unity Day Cup – on the Moscow State University pitch. It was a home ground for two capital city teams – “Slavyane” & “Lazy Koalas” - and the third one came from Saint-Petersburg – “St.Petersburg Cats”. It was a snowy day with -2°C on the thermometer, but the competitors were ready for such unpleasant weather.

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Ugandan Emmanuel Irra Training With Port Adelaide

Africa

Lee Gaskin reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Port Adelaide are set to be the next club to place an African born player on their list with the opportunity given to Ugandan born Emmanuel Irra.

PORT Adelaide is set to have the first Ugandan player on an AFL list, with midfielder Emmanuel Irra training with the Power.

The versatile 22-year-old has been granted permission to train with the Power ahead of the national, pre-season and rookie drafts.

 

If Irra is not selected during the draft process, the Power is free to list him as a Category B Rookie since the club earlier nominated him for its next generation academy.

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Tigers Chasing Coyotes In France

Europe
The Perpignan Tigers leapt into second place on the CNFA ladder in France after a solid win against the Bordeaux Bombers on the weekend. The Bombers got away to a good start before being worn down by the Tigers. They held a 14 point lead at the first break before the Tigers came back and took a four point lead to the break. The game was up for grabs by three-quarter time with the Tigers up by 10 points, but they held firm in the final quarter to win by 34 points.

Final Score: Perpignan Tigers 112 d Bordeaux Bombers 78

In the other game over the weekend, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes leaped back to the top of the table with their third win of the season. This time they remained undefeated with a big win over the Toulouse Hawks. The Coyotes dominated early and continued to pull away, recording a 99 point win over the still winless Hawks.
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NY Magpies to take on NY GAA's All Americans

International Rules
The following is an extract from the article at www.newyorkmapgies.com
 
On Friday November 11th the New York Magpies will take on the New York GAA’s All American team in a Charity International Rules Game at Gaelic Park. Gates open at 7pm, with the game starting at 7.30pm.
 
The match will see the superb athleticism of Gaelic Football meeting the physical brutality of Australian Rules Football.
 
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Big shake up in Victorian women's footy structure

Australia

AFL Victoria yesterday announced that the long running VWFL would be discontinued and clubs would be moving to a more localised structure as the massive growth of women's footy is accommodated.

The announcement follows

SIREN SOUNDS ON VICTORIA WOMEN’S FOOTBALL LEAGUE

 

Victoria’s female football pathway will have a new look in 2017 with a host of new women's competitions to be established in local leagues across the state.

 

The community league competitions will replace the current Victoria Women's Football League (VWFL) competition, providing a more localised structure for clubs into the future.

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Pressure Builds For Bombers, Buffaloes & Pies

Australia
The NTFL season is beginning to get away from some of the teams in the lower reaches of the ladder. With just five rounds of eighteen completed, the Darwin Buffaloes and Tiwi Bombers are winless. They both sit three games away from the top five already. The Palmerston Magpies have fared little better with just one win – a narrow eight point first round win against the hapless Bombers.

It is way too early to be writing any team off, but history suggests that a 0-5 or even 1-4 start to a season is very hard to come back from. Most worrying has been the gulf in scores, and this weekend’s round illustrates that.

The Magpies went down to Wanderers by 67 points and the Buffaloes went down to the rampant Nightcliff by 73 points. Tiwi Bombers were gallant against the Southern District Crocs, going down in the end by 23 points after clawing back a bigger margin with a six goal last quarter in front of a home crowd.
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Employment Opportunity - AFL PNG Development - Operations Mentor

Oceania
An excellent footy development opportunity is available in Port Moresby, PNG.
 
* Combine 2 things you have experience in - AFL and running a business operation
 
 
* Support the local staff in efficient and effective reporting, stakeholder relationships, finance and business processes
 
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It’s Getting Crowded At The Top – CNFA

Europe

Victories this weekend to both the ALFA Lions and the Paris Cockatoos has created a very interesting battle for places in the top four. The situation will become even tighter regardless of the result next weekend.

The Lions have leapt to the top of the CNFA Ladder on eight points just ahead of the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes also on eight. Behind them, the Bordeaux Bombers sit in third place on six points with the Paris Cockatoos and Paris Cockerels as well as the Perpignan Tigers fighting for fourth place on five.

Round Two will wrap up next weekend with either the Toulouse Hawks winning to jump into fourth place or the Blagnac Aviators surprising the Hawks and joining the logjam for fourth place.
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