Following on from the announcement in Ireland the day before the AFL released their own statement on the IRS last night.
The GAA and the AFL today announced they would play a two-match International Rules Test Series in Australia in 2017.
It was also confirmed that, in addition, the Associations have committed to a further two-game Series in Ireland, as well as exploring the adaptation of the game for an exhibition Series in the United States in the future, as part of an agreement reached to play a further three series in all, each of two matches apiece, in the coming years.
Following on from the success of the two recent one-off Tests played in Australia (Perth in November 2014) and Ireland (Dublin in November 2015), the two controlling boards had agreed the appetite was there among fans, players and coaches of both countries to return to a two-Test series for a further three series, with the commitment of the elite players of both countries to be involved.
While Aussies were sleeping the Irish press reported that the 2016 International Rules Series has been scrapped. The past two series have seen only one-off games between the nations, but the two-match format is being revived for 2017.
GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail told the GAA world in his statement that : "It was not possible to organise a two-game series in Australia this year and for that reason we have decided to take a long-term view of the series and press pause for 2016.
"The success of the last two series has been based on the ability of both teams to attract the finest talent to their ranks making for close, competitive and entertaining games.
In this article from the NT News, four boys from the Northern Territory get a taste of international footy through their participation in an International Rules match in Ireland. In a unique stepping stone to bigger things, both for themselves and others who might wish to follow in their footsteps, these Territory lads have travelled ground that few of their contemporaries have.
From never kicking a round ball in Tennant Creek to beating the Irish in Ireland.
That is the story and journey of Barkly quartet — Liam Holt-Fitz, Matthew Green, Mattaniah Bain and Kyrell Barton who beat the Irish in a number of contests at the hybrid International Rules game over the past fortnight.
The lads, along with their Wanderers Australia AFL Training teammates, earned some green and gold pride as they went undefeated through the tour.
The 2015 International Rules Series will be just one Test played at Croke Park in Ireland tonight at 19:00 hours Dublin time (Sunday morning Melbourne time). The big talking points pre-match will centre around the 95th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the horrific events at Croke Park, and the final match played by Australian goalkeeper Dustin Fletcher.
The match will be televised in Australia live and at other locations around the world on delay. Live streaming will also be available for subscribers to the WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU service.
THE VIRGIN Australia International Rules Series has an exciting future, says AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
He spoke after arriving in Dublin to watch the Test match at Croke Park on Saturday night, and dismissed critics of the venture, saying such concepts demonstrated the game's desire to be ambitious and aspirational.
The squad trained on Wednesday at Croke Park after arriving in a damp and windy Dublin on Tuesday following five days in New York.
McLachlan, who is due to meet formally with the Gaelic Athletic Association on Friday, said it was important the AFL was never insular in its thinking.
The match that was scheduled to take place today (NY time) between the Australian IRS team and they NY GAA team has been cancelled. The NY GAA this morning relayed the message via Twitter "Due to circumstances beyond the control of NYGAA, the International Rules Challenge v Australia is cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience."
It will be a set back for the Australians who would have benefitted greatly by having some round ball match practice under their belts before next weekend's one-off IRS Test Match at Croke Park in Ireland. It may also be a setback for those involved in the International Rules Series who are keen to have a match staged in the US in the future.
The match was called off after the AFL's football operations staff inspected the ground for the match. They determined that some areas of the turn were of concern and as such the ground was not fit for play.
The AFL today announced Hawthorn's triple-premiership skipper Luke Hodge would be captain of the Virgin Australia International Rules team to contest the one-off Test against Ireland, to be played at Croke Park in Dublin next Saturday November 21.
The Australian team coaching group of Alastair Clarkson, Ross Lyon and Chris Scott nominated Hodge to be captain from the leadership group comprising Robert Murphy, Nick Riewoldt, Harry Taylor and Sam Mitchell at a team function in New York on Friday evening November 13 (Saturday November 14 Australian time).
The Australian team has spent most of this week warming up and getting to know each other in New York City. The US stopover before next week's International Rules Test match in Ireland will conclude after this weekend. Before they leave for Ireland though the Australian team will play a New York GAA team. The match will take place on Saturday at the Rockland GAA Centre of Excellence in Orangeburg starting at midday.
If you are going to head down there to watch the match please be aware that there are limited facilities (so don't expect seating), entry is $10 for adults and free for under 18's.
Earlier in the week the AFL today announced a five-man leadership group for the Virgin Australia International Rules team to contest the one-off Test against Ireland, to be played at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday November 21.
The AFL today named a 22-man squad to contest the one-off Test against Ireland in the 2015 Virgin Australia International Rules Series, to be played at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday November 21.
Australia regained the Cormac Macanallen Trophy with victory in last November's Test on home soil in Perth and has again named a squad comprised entirely of All Australian players, under the direction of leading coaches Alastair Clarkson, Ross Lyon and Chris Scott.
The coaching group of head coach Clarkson and senior assistants Lyon and Scott elected to keep faith with 14 players who were part of last year's victory, while those players from the 2014 Virgin Australia team who were injured or unavailable due to personal commitments were replaced with squad members who were either All Australian selections in 2015, or who had previously been an All Australian player at some point in their careers.
The AFL and GAA today confirmed that the 2015 International Rules series will be just the one test between Australia and Ireland. This comes after some speculation that the AFL were pushing for an extra Test to be played in New York (among other venues).
The AFL have confirmed the once again only All-Australian team members or those who have previously been selected in the All Australian squad previously (in the event of injury) will be eligible for the Australian team.
The match will take place on the hallowed Croke Park turf on November 21st and Australia will again be coached by Alastair Clarkson with the assistance of Brad Scott and Ross Lyon.
It is hoped that a successful tour without serious incidents that have marred previous tours can see the series become a more permanent and expanded series in the future.