Australian International Rules squad announced

Australian coach Kevin Sheedy has announced a 24-man squad for the upcoming Coca-Cola International Rules series against Ireland.

Australian coach Kevin Sheedy has announced a 24-man squad for the upcoming Coca-Cola International Rules series against Ireland.

The squad, which includes two notable players - the highly-rated Nick Riewoldt and Barry Hall - who did not play in last year's series, will get together in Melbourne next week before their departure for Ireland on Saturday, October 21.

The first Test takes place a week later under the floodlights at Salthill's Pearse Stadium, while the second has been set for Sunday, November 5 at Croke Park.

Sheedy has Danny Frawley, Gerard Healy, Stephen Silvagni, Rod Austin and Jim Stynes, the former Dublin minor footballer who went on to have a glittering career in Aussie Rules, in his backroom team.

He said they had received "an outstanding response from the AFL player group and it was vital to tailor a team specifically for the demands of the hybrid game.

"The squad's make-up has been based on last year's successful model with an emphasis on pace and youth, sprinkled with older players who had successfully played the game at International level in earlier years."

Asked about the Australian's style of play, Sheedy added: "The ball will spend a lot of time on the ground and we showed last year that we can be very successful with a young, fast group, with a real emphasis on their ability to kick the ball and to be able to chase and tackle well.

"At least seven or eight of our squad possess absolutely elite-level pace while we also a good group of taller players with very good ability to get around the ground."

Sheedy has yet to choose his 2006 series captain, while he admitted that there is the capacity to add another player to the squad.

The Australians are the holders of the Cormac McAnallen Cup, after their 2-0 success in 2005.

Australian International Rules Squad:

Chance Bateman (Hawthorn), Campbell Brown (Hawthorn), Ryan Crowley (Fremantle), Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Nick Davis (Sydney), Sam Fisher (St Kilda), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Lindsay Gilbee (Western Bulldogs), Brendon Goddard (St Kilda), Barry Hall (Sydney), Graham Johncock (Adelaide), Matthew Lappin (Carlton), James McDonald (Melbourne), David Mundy (Fremantle), Ryan O’Keefe (Sydney), Brett Peake (Fremantle), Danyle Pearce (Port Adelaide), Andrew Raines (Richmond), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Adam Schneider (Sydney), Adam Selwood (West Coast), Justin Sherman (Brisbane Lions), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Brent Stanton (Essendon).

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