Panel named for International Rules Test

Donegal forward Michael Murphy has been named as Ireland's captain for next Saturday's first International Rules Test, despite doubts over how much of the game he will play.

Murphy is a proud Glenswilly clubman and they want him to line out in next Sunday's Donegal SFC final against Killybegs, which Glenswilly tried to get rescheduled due to Murphy's involvement with the International Rules side.

But the Donegal County Board refused their request and it remains to be seen how much action the 24-year-old will see in both games this coming weekend - with the clash with the Australians taking place in Cavan at 7pm and the Donegal decider getting underway at 4pm the following day.

Aside from that particular club versus country dilemma, Ireland manager Paul Earley has finalised his 23-man squad for the series opener against Australia at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Connacht champions and beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo once again lead the way with four representatives as Aidan O'Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Colm Boyle and Lee Keegan all claim panel spots.

Skipper Murphy is joined by his Donegal colleagues Paddy McBrearty and Neil McGee, while vice-captain Aidan Walsh joins fellow Corkmen Michael Shields and Ciarán Sheehan on the list.

All-Ireland champions Dublin and Laois both have three representatives each.

The players to miss out from the original 29-man panel are Armagh's Ciaran McKeever, who was vice-captain for the successful 2011 series Down Under, Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan, Kildare veteran Johnny Doyle, Westmeath's John Heslin, Monaghan's Darren Hughes and Daithí Waters from Wexford.

Irish boss Earley said: "I'd like to thank all of the players who made themselves available for training and I acknowledge their enthusiasm and commitment.

"Reducing the numbers as we are obliged to do for match day was no easy task and those who have made the shortlist should and do consider it a real honour to represent their country ahead of the challenge of playing some of the best players in the AFL.

"Our training has really stepped up in the last few weeks and we are looking forward to Saturday's first Test and the support of what will no doubt be a passionate crowd in Cavan."

All stand tickets for next Saturday's first Test have sold out, but terrace tickets are still available at €15 each.

There is a 'group pass' rate - €3 for juveniles, with every 10 children one adult goes free. The forms required to purchase of these tickets can be found on www.gaa.ie.

Two-match packages are also available for both Tests - €40 for adults and €10 for juveniles.

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL RULES PANEL (first Test v Australia, Kingspan Breffni Park, Saturday, October 19, 7pm):

Michael Murphy (Donegal) (captain)

Aidan Walsh (Cork) (vice-captain)

Paddy O'Rourke (Meath)

Colm Begley (Laois)

Colm Boyle (Mayo)

Ciaran Byrne (Louth)

Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)

Paul Conroy (Galway)

Paul Flynn (Dublin)

Finian Hanley (Galway)

Lee Keegan (Mayo)

Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin)

Paddy McBrearty (Donegal)

Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)

Neil McGee (Donegal)

Chrissy McKaigue (Derry)

Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo)

Conor McManus (Monaghan)

Ross Munnelly (Laois)

Aidan O'Shea (Mayo)

Ciarán Sheehan (Cork)

Michael Shields (Cork)

Zach Tuohy (Carlton/Laois)


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