A victory over a star-studded Australia team will go down as the best International Rules victory yet, according to Aidan O’Shea.
The Mayo man has revealed that the group have spoken about just how much a win on Saturday would be regarded compared to previous series.
“I think the boys (management) said during the week that this will be one that will be remembered because they will be bringing their best players.
“Definitely, if we can come out of here with a win — I know it’s only a one-test series — but it would be a massive achievement.
“I think they’ve (the Australians) taken a bit of slack for the last couple of years when we’ve beaten them handily. I suppose they want to try and stop the rot. I was talking to Pearse (Hanley) a couple of weeks ago when he was home in Ireland and he said the same. He said it was the best team they could have possibly picked, bar a couple of injuries.
“But that’s the way you want it. I suppose the only way the series will continues is if both teams continue to pick strong squads. I think that’s a sign they want the series to continue.”
O’Shea, who missed last year’s second test because of commitments with Breaffy, believes the new kickout rule will put more of an onus on players of his size and bulk. “Obviously the rules suit the Aussies but you going to be an awful lot of bodies around the middle. There will be a lot of bodies and it will be difficult to get possession. Whoever wins that scramble around the middle is going to win the game, I think.”
What would make a victory even sweeter is how many things have been stacked in Australia’s favour, from rule changes to the one-off test to the change in date.
“There is a few things obviously favouring them. You’ve got the backward mark, the extra handpasses and the kickout over the 45. We’ve played a few of the rules into their hands but we’re looking forward to adjusting to the rules. It’s going to be difficult with the kickout going over the 45 because they’ve a lot of big players and that definitely has played into their favour.”
O’Shea has steeled himself for some physical exchanges at the outset of the game in Perth. “A bit of physicality is no harm there and at the start of the game it will be no different. I’m sure once the first 10 or 15 minutes is over, we’ll be down to play football.”
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