Tuohy joins Ó hAilpín in Carlton starting line-up

Laois native Zach Tuohy has been selected to make his AFL debut for the Carlton Blues against Port Adelaide on Sunday, joining Cork's Setanta Ó hAilpín in the team.

Laois native Zach Tuohy has been selected to make his AFL debut for the Carlton Blues against Port Adelaide on Sunday, joining Cork's Setanta Ó hAilpín in the team.

It is the first time a club has fielded two Irish players in an AFL match since former Kerry minor Sean Wight, the first recruit of the so-called 'Irish Experiment', and legendary Brownlow Medal winner Jim Stynes played for Melbourne in 1995.

Tuohy, seen as a defender-cum-midfielder, has been elevated to Carlton's senior list, replacing the injured Luke Mitchell. Having trialled with the north Melbourne club in 2008, he was drafted as an international rookie last year.

The 21-year-old will have additional support at AAMI Stadium this weekend as his Aussie Rules bow coincides, in timely fashion, with a visit from his parents Marie and Noel.

"I am very excited and really looking forward to the game as it is a big step in my career," said Tuohy, who has been in impressive form for Carlton's VFL affiliate side, the Northern Bullants.

"Having my parents (Marie and Noel) out here in Australia adds to the occasion for me and it will be great to have them in the stands in Adelaide."

Steve Icke, Carlton's general manager of football operations, said: "Zach's improvement has been rapid. He's had two intense years here.

"He's been playing really well (in the reserves)...he has genuine speed and is an elite kick."

Carlton lie fourth in the AFL Premiership ladder ahead of their round 11 clash with second-from-bottom Port Adelaide. They have won four of their last five league matches.

The 28-year-old Ó hAilpín has played in the Blues' last four games and scored three goals in their round 10 win over Melbourne Demons. The former Young Hurler of the Year made his debut for Carlton back in May 2005.

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