Antrim and Down vote against return of International Rules

Plans to resurrect the much-criticised International Rules series have been struck a blow with two Ulster counties rejecting the idea of it coming back onto the GAA calendar.

Plans to resurrect the much-criticised International Rules series have been struck a blow with two Ulster counties rejecting the idea of it coming back onto the GAA calendar.

Having discussed the issue at Co Board level, both Antrim and Down voted unanimously to turn down proposals aimed a rekindling the hybrid game between the GAA and Australian Football League's biggest stars.

Down spokesman Diarmuid Cahill said: "The issue of the International Rules came up at our meeting and there was unanimous agreement that the series should not be revived.

"I don't think anyone spoke in favour of it being restarted again. We didn't see anything that could be gained from it."

The other seven Ulster counties are also expected to weigh up the pros and cons of the series when they hold their monthly County Board meetings next week.

GAA President Nickey Brennan and his AFL counterpart Andrew Demetriou have both been making some headway on a possible resumption of the series.

A GAA delegation travelled to Dubai earlier this month to meet with AFL officials, with the meeting focusing mainly on the issue of playing rules, including disciplinary issues, and the overall organisation and regulation of any new series.

The most recent series was held in Ireland in 2006 but violent on-the-field clashes marred the second Test at Croke Park and it was agreed to scrap the annual two-Test encounter.

But the GAA have recently agreed a new set of guidelines with the AFL.

A recent document released by the Association, which included an 18-point proposal, confirmed that the agreement included the establishment of tougher disciplinary measures, i.e. a disciplinary tribunal, the appointment of an independent match official and the proviso that any sanctions imposed for misconduct would also apply to the AFL Premiership.

A decision on the future of the series is likely to be made on St. Patrick's Day when the GAA's Central Council meet.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up