Editor: The International Rules series between Australia and Ireland sees the two nations adopt a hybrid set of rules that combines Australian football and Gaelic football to form a new sport that allows the two countries to compete internationally against similar quality opposition. The series has had many ups and downs but has a surprisingly long history.
The following article is an interesting reflection on that history with an emphasis on the cultural aspects of globalisation and opposition to change. It's by one our writers, Professor Stephen Alomes. Please note it was first published in 2000, and has not been updated so should be read in that context.
Melbourne’s President Jim Stynes, Brownlow medallist and the most successful convert to our game has had a high profile battle with cancer in recent times. He has managed to do great things for his former club and for so many in the community in Australia.
Australia has won the two Test International Rules series against Ireland after a 55-52 victory in the second Test at Croke Park Dublin before a 61,000 crowd.
After an attacking start from the Irish, scoring the first 4 points, the second Test for the Cormack Cormac McAnallen Cup looked like a regulation game for the fast, ball controlling and ball using Australian side. Several small and speedy players such as Bryce Gibbs and Eddie Betts of Carlton, all of whom star in the AFL when there is less pressure, and the similar stars in Collingwood’s Dane Swan and St Kilda’s Lee Montagna, and the marking and long kicking for goal of Brad Green, who went on to kick 16 points, were the difference.
However, the Irish drew closer in the third quarter, with an "under" (goal) reducing the difference to 10 points (48-38) at the break.
Mick Malthouse, coach of the Australian International Rules team knew that the long arms of Essendon full back Dustin Fletcher would make the difference when it came to defending the goal net against a six pointer. The ageless footballer known at Essendon as Mr Gadget and now well into his 30s only let one 'under' goal through after a brilliant running move by Bernard Brogan in the last quarter.
Fletcher challenged the GAA team's scoring capacity in the first Test at Limerick, Australia winning 47 to 40, while other myths remain unchallenged. Another key aspect was Ireland's inability to clear the ball from defence, with Mick Malthouse's side applying a full defensive press, the modern day flood now popular with several AFL clubs. As a result, many Australian scores were quickly followed by more.
Ireland will play host to Australia in the first test in Limerick on Saturday 23 October and in the second test in Croke Park on Saturday 30 October. Ireland manager Anthony Tohill today announced the Irish squad for the International Rules series.
Of the squad six have spent varying time with AFL clubs in Australia – Colm Begley, Martin Clarke, Tadgh Kennelly, Michael Shields, Brendan Murphy and Tommy Walsh. Shields, Murphy and Walsh did not/have not played any senior matches for AFL clubs. This should add a new slant on the series given their significant experience and knowledge of the Australians. Armagh’s Steven McDonnell has been named as captain and Galway’s Finian Hanley has been selected as vice-captain.
Former Australian Coach Garry Lyon reveals how he unwittingly gave the green light to Brad Scott (now North Melbourne Coach) to beat up his Irish opponent in the 2002 International Rules series. That incident along with other before and since saw the series abandoned and now revived on a more limited regularity and still with the possibility of ending if such violence returns.
The AFL today named the Australian squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Ireland for the 2010 International Rules Series. The Australian team, to be coached by Michael Malthouse, will gather in Melbourne next Friday, October 15, before leaving for Ireland on Saturday October 16. Gary Ablett Jnr had previously said he was keen to play but was reported to have withdrawn his availablility this week.
The first Test will be played at Limerick on Saturday October 23 and the second Test will be played at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday October 30. The squad is: Todd Banfield (Brisbane Lions), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs), Daniel Cross (Western Bulldogs), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide Crows), Paul Duffield (Fremantle),
Whether it’s the work of the martians or the seagulls, Kevin Sheedy is not often backward in coming forward. For a plumber – he can be somewhat lateral. His latest suggestion is reported in the IrishExaminer Sheedy proposes novel ‘tri-series’ idea.
This is the third year in a row the USAFL's Austin Crows and the Irish Celtic Cowboys have contested a three game series International Rules Series. The rules combine elements from both games with the Irish advantage being the round ball and the Aussie advantage being the tackling. We thank the Austin Crows for the match report.
On another hot and humid Austin summer day, the teams arrived at the Stassney field to once again see who has bragging rights as the best Footy team in Austin, Texas. The Crows were a little undermanned through injuries and unavailability but had a considerably younger team than their Irish rivals.