International Rules Series to return to Ireland in 2020
THE latest effort to enliven the International Rules series will take place a year from now when Australia come to Ireland, with the visitors promising a strong selection. A return series ‘down under’ is planned for November 2022.
The Aussies haven’t travelled since 2015, when they narrowly lost a one-off test at a less than half-full Croke Park.
Two years earlier they had sent an all-indigenous team, known as the Indigenous Allstars, who were well beaten over two games in Kingspan Breffni Park and Croke Park, losing by a cumulative tally of 173-72. Just over 46,000 spectators paid into those two games.
However, the Australians are the current holders of the Cormac McAnallen Trophy, having edged the last series in 2017, winning the two matches by an aggregate total of 116-103.
AFL General Manager Football Operations Steve Hocking said players named in the 2020 Virgin Australia All-Australian team will be the first qualify.
“We want to take the best of the best to the two-Test series in Ireland next year and our All-Australian players will be the first players selected,” he said.
“The IRS tests allows players from both codes the only opportunity to represent their countries and have traditionally been great contests that have showcased their athleticism.
“We saw in 2017 two high standard matches that drew great attendances. I look forward to the rivalry continuing when the test series returns next year.”
The provisonal dates for next year’s games are Sunday November 15 and Saturday November 21 and venues and match arrangements will be confirmed in due course.
The AFL has confirmed that the Australian team will again conduct a training camp in New York prior to the matches in Ireland.
GAA Director-General Tom Ryan said: "We are pleased to announce the return of the International Rules Series in 2020 and look forward to re-connecting with our friends and colleagues in the AFL, both on and off the field.
"The series offers our players the chance to wear the green jersey and represent Ireland and it also provides them with an opportunity to pit themselves against the best from another code while showcasing the best skills of Gaelic football”.