Ireland to face Australia in one-off Rules Test in Perth
Game on November 22nd will feature the top players from both codes
The 43,500-seater Patersons Stadium in Perth will host a one-off International Rules Test between Australia and Ireland on Saturday, November 22nd. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Ireland will take on Australia in a one-off International Rules Test at Patersons Stadium in Perth on Saturday, November 22nd.
It was also also confirmed that “only the most talented AFL players and officials” will line out for Australia and will be drawn from players that have been selected in All-Australian squads in their career, an award similar to the GAA All Stars.
The move comes after last year’s one-sided series in Ireland and the previous tour to Australia saw attendance figures and interest in the games drop.
GAA president Liam O’Neill believes a sell-out crowd in Perth could signal a bright future for the International Rules series.
“After the conclusion of the 2013 Series, we expressed our genuine fears for the future of International Rules if the best players from both countries were unable to commit to their national sides,”said O’Neill.
“Both Associations agreed that the one sided nature of the last two series has had a major effect on attendances and general public interest; it is obvious to us all that if this trend is not reversed in 2014, it will be difficult to argue that there is any sustainable future for the game at this point in time.
“A sell out crowd in November and a game that engages the attendance would certainly give us something to build on for the future.”
The 43,500-seat Patersons Stadium is the home ground to both Western Australia AFL franchises West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Football club and Super Rugby side Western Force.
The Australian team will be coached by current All-Australian and Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson. The team will also be represented by Eddie McGuire who has been appointed Chef de Mission for the Test.