Glynn: Irish ready for the ‘put down’

LEIGHTON GLYNN insists Ireland are ready for Australia’s biggest hits and won’t view it as an ‘affront to their manhood’ when slung to the ground.

Ireland boss Anthony Tohill noted pointedly at the announcement of his panel last week that players mustn’t view being tackled and ‘put to ground’ as an ‘affront to their manhood’.

Tohill claimed that in the past, Ireland players often reacted badly when tackled which, while alien to Gaelic football, is a fundamental and legitimate part of the hybrid game.

Glynn, a star of the successful 2008 series Down Under, admitted it was tough at first to come to terms with being overpowered and dumped to the ground.

But he claims the Irish players, including the rookies, have grown used to it after weeks of training and won’t spark any flash points by reacting negatively when it happens in Saturday night’s first test.

“In fairness, it is hard at first to get your head around being tackled like that,” said Glynn. “Gaelic footballers just aren’t used to getting pegged to the ground like that.

“But we’ve been together for weeks now and practicing it. We’ve done a lot with Mike McGurn on it and everyone sees it as just another part of the game. We know there can’t be any whinging or bad reactions if we get wrapped up and put down.”

In order to avoid the tackle, Australian’s biggest asset in the code, Ireland will seek to move the ball on quickly and play to their own traditional strengths.

“Hopefully, the other skills of the game like passing and kicking and moving it along quickly will come more natural to us,” said Glynn, who is preparing for the busiest weekend of his career.

After the Rules encounter, he’ll turn his attention to Sunday’s Leinster Club SFC clash between his native Rathnew and Skryne in Navan while, on Monday, he’ll play for Glenealy in the Leinster club IHC.

“I always had my heart set on playing for Ireland and the clubs have been very accommodating with me,” said the 2008 series goalscorer.

“I suppose Harry Murphy (Rathnew manager) will be wincing if he sees me going into any big challenges on Saturday night with Australia.

“I’m just going to play my normal game. The moment you start thinking about protecting yourself is the moment you’ll get an injury.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s David Wojcinski and Travis Varcoe are unlikely to play in the first of the International Rules matches against Ireland after suffering injuries in Wednesday’s practice match against a Cork colleges selection.

Wojcinkski injured his right ankle while Varcoe left the ground with a sore shoulder.

The team’s medical staff will take no risks with the Geelong pair, who have just two-and-a-half days left before the first match. The Australians yesterday relocated to Limerick, where the first match will be played.

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