Cork’s 2010 All-Ireland winner Ciarán Sheehan has been called into the Ireland International Rules squad for Saturday’s second test in Perth.
Joe Kernan has confirmed Sheehan along with Monaghan’s Darren Hughes will link up with the group as the visitors aim to overcome a 10-point deficit from the first test to claim the series.
As previously reported, Hughes replaces hand injury victim Pearce Hanley while Éire Óg man Sheehan, who recently left Carlton after three seasons, will be in the match-day squad should Niall Murphy or Enda Smith, who were both struck down with a virus before the first test, are unable to play.
The future intentions of Sheehan, who turns 27 on Sunday, are unclear but he has previous International Rules experiences from 2013. “We have invited Ciarán up from Melbourne to train with the panel too and given his insights to their game I am sure he will add something to our preparations and range of options,” said Kernan.
Murphy and Smith were scheduled to train today and a decision on their involvement will be made over the next 48 hours. Apart from strains, bumps and bruises, Ireland should be able to call on the 20 players who finished the first test.
Meanwhile, Kernan hopes Perth’s strong Irish presence will be felt in the Subiaco Oval on Saturday as Ireland attempt to reel in Australia. “The lads battled extremely hard last weekend in hot conditions and on the back of tough week and we are looking forward to the second match against Australia. We have had time to digest aspects of last week’s first instalment and have focused on areas we believe we can improve on.
“I am calling on all Irish people in the Perth area to come out and support the boys and back their efforts to overturn the 10-point margin that separates us. We all know about the number of Irish people in Perth and the surrounding areas and I hope they all make to the game on Saturday and make themselves heard.
“The game provides a special opportunity for Irish people to reconnect with home and the GAA and with some of the best players in our game wearing the green jersey, we are confident of producing a big performance.”
The Irish squad are currently based in Mandurah outside Perth before they relocate to the city tomorrow. The Subiaco Oval is expected to go close to a sell-out in what is its last game before it is demolished in January.