AFL Fiji development officer Simon Highfield today confirmed in the Fiji Times that the nation would once again be sending men's and women's teams to the AFL International Cup to be held in Melbourne in August.
"It is the biggest event on the AFL calendar internationally, with over 30 countries competing, and both Fijian teams are going to be extremely competitive."
There has been an adjustment to the eligibility rules for the 2017 AFL International Cup. There has been extensive consultation with competing nations following IC14 and lengthy consideration given to whether eligibility rules should be changed.
At IC14 some nations felt that other countries had a large advantage in having many players that were located in Australia and playing in the lead up to the tournament (some for multiple years),
The new rules do not actually impose any new restrictions on individuals but rather ensure that no country’s squad is completely dominated by Australian based players.
Expatriate Australians of course are ineligible to play in the International Cup as in previous years.
A player qualifies for their country by being a citizen and by having lived predominantly in that country between the ages of 10 and 16. The rules allow the AFL to grant exceptions to the eligibility criteria on a case-by-case basis if it is satisfied that the player is a bona fide resident of the country concerned, and that "his/her participation would be in the best interests of the competition".
Just six months out from the next International Cup in Melbourne, the GB Bulldogs and Swans have named the first group players to be chosen to represent their nation. Last year an extended list was detailed for the Bulldogs and that has recently been narrowed.
Now Coach Dean Thomas has announced the first 12 players locked into the squad, and later will announce the 16 others (and 2 emergencies) to make up the full squad. A number of Australian based players are expected to be among that 16 along with other UK based players.
To enhance interest in the fortunes of the GB Bulldogs team for this year’s IC17 in Melbourne, the following list has been prepared to list all players to have had the honour of representing the Great Britain team. The following list is from the www.aflengland.org website.
The Great Britain Bulldogs have been involved in International Competition since 2001 and we’ve been trawling through the records to put together a full list of players who have competed for the Bulldogs in that period of time. With records going back to the AFL International Cup of 2002 below are the players who have represented their nation across time
With less than a year to go until the next International Cup in Melbourne, nations are already making provisions to assemble lists and support personnel ready for the event. The GB Bulldogs provisional first list has just been released. Whilst predominantly made up of players in the AFL London and AFL Central & Northern England competitions, the list is also represented by players from Wales and Scotland.
Also featured are players now playing overseas in the Netherlands and Australia. Included in the list is Sam Willatt who will bring his experience to the squad after having been a part of the AFL’s Western Bulldogs/Footscray (VFL) powerhouse, with both winning flags.
The fortunes of the Irish men’s and women’s squads for the upcoming IC17 tournament in Melbourne next August are already on the rise with their announcement last month of the men’s Warriors squad. Selectors and team officials will continue to fine tune the squad over coming months in preparation. The women’s Irish Banshees squad will be announced in due course.
The Irish Warriors management team have today named an extended Ireland based training squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup. More players may be added in the weeks ahead depending on performance in the Winter Championship and arrangements are also being made for UK and Australia based players to train and have trials and these will be announced in the coming weeks.
After debuts by India at IC08 and then Pakistan at IC14 their Sri Lankan neighbours could be next to make their International Cup debut. A talent search and fundraising effort to bring a team from Sri Lanka to compete in the 2017 AFL International Cup is underway.
The organisers were recently interviewed on Channel 31 in Melbourne on the Sri Lankan Morning Show. They have conducted clinics in Sri Lanka to find the talent to fill out their team and have been assisted by players from Essendon (Courtenay Dempsey) and Carlton (Ed Curnow, Harry McKay and Jesse Glass-McCasker).
France is already taking a positive approach to next year’s International Cup with the announcement of their initial squad for the showcase event in Melbourne next August. With a mix of players across CNFA teams, the group will now go through the stages of preparation and final selection over the coming months.
A true representative team, all clubs have players selected. Of particular note is that two players from the newest team, the Blagnac Aviators, have been selected – Anthony Girard and Sylvain Maylie creating new Toulouse/Blagnac history.
AFL Canada have named the women's team for the 2017 AFL International Cup in Melbourne. The squad of 30 to pull on the Northern Lights jumper and defend the title includes five members of the IC14 World Team and four players currently playing in Australia.
The will be the team to beat and will be competing for the title against 2014 runners up Ireland as well as the USA, a number of Pacific teams (likely Fiji, Tonga, NZ and PNG) as well as a combined European Crusaders team.
In 2014 a late decision was made to bring a second team to the International Cup but it appears that there will be no second Canadian team in 2017.