AFL’s best set to line up against Ireland

Jobe Watson

HAWTHORN premiership coach Alistair Clarkson will lead a team of the AFL's best players in a one-off International Rules match against Ireland in Perth in November.

It will be the first time in the competition's 30-year history that just one match will decide the winner.

The game will be played at Patersons Stadium on November 22, and only players who have been named in All-Australian teams will be eligible for selection.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said discussions with Gaelic Athletic Association officials following last year's record-breaking win by Ireland against an all-indigenous team, decided that for the matches to continue, both countries had to field their best possible teams.

"We agreed that we should investigate that as an option, and if we couldn't do that, then the series is not compelling enough to run," Evans said.

He said the AFL had asked many of the competition's best players, including Travis Boak, Patrick Dangerfield, Darren Glass, Luke Hodge, Steve Johnson, Nic Naitanui, Scott Pendlebury, Nick Riewoldt, Joel Selwood and Jobe Watson (pictured), about how to attract the best AFL players back to the International Rules Series.

Responses included limiting selection to All-Australian players, scheduling one Test later in the year at the end of most players' leave, and amending some of the rules to ensure ruckmen and key position players could compete successfully.

Topics:  sport

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