Donegal trio in for International Rules

Donegal trio in for International Rules
Michael Murphy will lead Ireland in the International Rules Series against Australia on Saturday at Breffni Park in Cavan (7pm).

Michael Murphy will lead Ireland in the International Rules Series against Australia on Saturday at Breffni Park in Cavan (7pm).

Glenswilly’s Murphy, Neil McGee from Gaoth Dobhair and Patrick McBrearty of Kilcar were confirmed in Paul Early’s final 23-man panel on Tuesday.

McBreary is a first-timer to the hybrid game, while Murphy and McGee were involved in the successful capture of the Cormac McAnallen Cup two years ago when Ireland won 130-65 on aggregate.

The Etihad Stadium in Melbourne hosted the first of those Tests and Ireland, thanks to a goal and two overs from Murphy, ran out 80-36 winners.

The second Test at the Metricon Stadiumon the Gold Coast saw Murphy kick two overs as Ireland won 50-29.

Murphy was also involved in the 2010 Series when Australia were victorious on an aggregate score of 102-92 over the two Tests that took place at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and Croke Park.

The Donegal trio’s predecessors in representing Ireland in the Series are Martin Gavigan, current Donegal manager Jim McGuinness, Mark Crossan, Brendan Devenney, Kevin Cassidy and Karl Lacey.

“It is a great honour to represent your country, you can ask anyone about playing in the Railway Cup and it is a great honour to represent your province and this here gives you the opportunity to represent your country,” Murphy said of the captaincy.

“The Australians came over a few years ago and they gave us a lesson in skills with the round ball.

“We brushed up on that a couple of years ago and hopefully we will be able to put something together again.”

Murphy is in line for a busy weekend with his Glenswilly team in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta SFC final against Killybegs on Sunday.

The second Test for Ireland against Australia will take place on Saturday, October 26, Croke Park.

Australia have, for the first time, named an entirely indigenous panel and McGee expects a different challenge as a result of that selection policy.

“It’s a different game and a different challenge,” McGee said this week.

“We expect a different type of Australian team. They’ve gone for a more skilful and faster type of player.”

Ireland panel: Michael Murphy (captain, Donegal), Aidan Walsh (vice captain, Cork), Paddy McBrearty and Neil McGee (Donegal), Colm Boyle, Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea and Lee Keegan (Mayo), Paul Flynn, Ciaran Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Ciarán Sheehan and Michael Shields (Cork), Paul Conroy and Finian Hanley (Galway), Colm Begley and Ross Munnelly (Laois), Paddy O’ Rourke (Meath), Ciaran Byrne (Louth), Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Zach Tuohy (Carlton and Laois).