15 Counties represented as Earley names International Rules Squad

Ireland manager Paul Earley has included players from 15 counties in his 25-man squad for next month’s International Rules test against Australia in Perth.

15 Counties represented as Earley names International Rules Squad

Ireland manager Paul Earley has included players from 15 counties in his 25-man squad for next month’s International Rules test against Australia in Perth.

Beaten All-Ireland semi-finalists Mayo are best represented, with four home based players, as well as Brisbane Lions’ Pearse Hanley - the only AFL player in the travelling panel.

Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Kevin McLoughlin and Aidan O’Shea, also getting call-ups.

Donegal’s Michael Murphy continues as captain, while Aidan Walsh of Cork is named as Vice-Captain.

Murphy and fellow county man Neil McGee are back involved, with plenty of experience in the side provided also by the likes of Laois duo Ross Munnelly and Colm Begley; Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh and Finian Hanley of Galway.

All-Ireland champions Kerry just have one player in the squad, with David Moran, one of eight players set to be involved for the first time.

Tyrone's Niall Morgan and Mattie Donnelly; Cathal Cregg of Roscommon; Tipperary's Ciaran McDonald; Colm O'Neill of Cork and Kildare's Padraig O'Neill are also set for debuts.

Earley says that squad selection has been difficult, after some keenly contested trials in recent weeks.

“It has always been tough to pick the final squad, and you would expect that because players put themselves forward and work very hard over a number of weeks and our selection meetings were very difficult and very challenging, but you want that. You want it to be tough.

“It was a very difficult decision and a few marginal calls had to be made, but we are very happy with the squad that we have picked and hopefully they will do themselves justice when we go to Australia.”

Earley says injuries were the over-riding factor for some players being absent from the squad.

“Gaelic Football has become so demanding now, that a lot of our top players are carrying injuries by the end of the season,” he said.

“A number of them wanted to be involved, but either had operations planned for the end of the year, or when they joined us they realised they couldn’t train and they needed rest.

“Their medical team would have assessed them and said they needed a break, so it was unfortunate for those players in particular, because they put their hands up to play, but injury has ruled them out.”

Dublin’s Paul Flynn is out through injury, while his fellow county man Jack McCaffrey, who also featured last year is absent for academic reasons.

“Paul unfortunately had an injury during the year and he just managed to get through the club campaign and just needs to take some rest and recovery. He was very keen to play, but unfortunately wasn’t available.

“Michael Dara MacAuley and Cian O’Sullivan were also with us early on. Michael Dara broke a bone in his hand, while Cian had a hip operation.

“Jack is in third year of a Medical course, so unfortunately he had a lot of commitments there.”

Ireland will play a warm-up game against a VFL selection on Sunday November 16 in Melbourne, before facing Australia at Patterson’s Stadium in Perth on November 22.

2014 Ireland Panel (IRS v Australia): Colm Begley (Laois), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Cathal Cregg (Roscommon), Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Finian Hanley (Galway), Pearse Hanley (Brisbane Lions), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Lee Keegan (Mayo), James McCarthy (Dublin), Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary), Neil McGee (Donegal), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Kevin McKernan (Down), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Conor McManus (Monaghan), David Moran (Kerry), Niall Morgan (Tyrone), Ross Munnelly (Laois), Michael Murphy (Donegal) - Captain, Colm O’Neill (Cork), Pádraig O’Neill (Kildare), Paddy O’Rourke (Meath), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Aidan Walsh (Cork) - Vice Captain.

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
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.