Ireland vs Australia: International Rules Test Preview

Written by Jason Dewey for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Ireland vs Australia | Saturday 21 November | Croke Park | Dublin | 18:30

With the introduction of International Rules to our betting spread, We thought it’d be a good idea to preview the action from the Test match between Australia and Ireland which is due to be played on Saturday 21 November at Croke Park.

To Win Match
Ireland 2/1
Draw 25/1
Australia 4/10

How does it Work?
International Rules Football (Inter Rules) is a team sport developed to facilitate Aussie Rules footballers from Australia and Gaelic Footballers from Ireland. The rules have been specifically designed to find a compromise between the above two codes.

Teams are made up of 15 players including a goalkeeper – all of whom can be substituted at any time. A match lasts for a total of 72 minutes and is divided into four 18-minute quarters. The code uses two large posts and two small posts as in Aussie Rules and crossbar and goal net as in Gaelic Football. See the image below for a better understanding of how points are awarded:

Gaelic footballers have the benefit of playing with a round ball and a rectangular field – Aussie Rules is played with an oval ball on an oval field – while their Australian counterparts benefit from being able to tackle between the shoulders and thighs – something banned in Gaelic Football.

Players will also be able to call marks if a ball is caught from a kick of over 20 metres, awarding the catcher of the ball a free kick. If the kick originates from a teammate, the ball has to travel in a forward direction (20 metres) for the mark to be called.

You can see a full list of the rules here.


The Irish will be desperate to bounce back after a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Australians in last year’s series. This year, the Irish team will be coached by All-Ireland winning Armagh manager, Joe Kernan. Kernan will be placing emphasis on the skills element of the game. The home side will be captained by Bernard Brogan who plays for Dublin.

Ireland will be at a distinct advantage when the two teams meet on Saturday evening. The Australian players aren’t used to playing with the round ball, whereas the Irish would have been using it their entire lives. The Australians, however, have shown marked improvements with the round ball employing the ‘around-the-corner’ kick often employed by goalkeepers in regular football.
The Irish will be weary of the gung-ho approach which saw them lose out to the Australians last year. The Aussies were quite happy to sit back and absorb and wait for the Irish to come at them. As soon as the ball moved forward the Australians would flood forward, putting immense pressure on the Irish forwards, creating a slew of turnovers in the midfield.

The Irish squad will be made up solely with players based in Ireland. The squad is as follows:
Bernard Brogan (c) (Dublin), Lee Keegan (vc) (Mayo), Niall Morgan (gk) (Tyrone), Colm Begley (Laois), Gary Brennan (Clare), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Eoin Doyle (Kildare), Peter Harte (Tyrone), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Paul Kerrigan (Cork), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary), Phillip McMahon (Dublin), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Rory O'Carroll (Dublin), John O'Loughlin (Laois), Aidan O'Shea (Mayo), Michael Quinn (Longford), Donnchadh Walsh (Kerry), Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin), Paul Cribbin (Kildare), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal)

The Aussies will be coached by four-time Premiership winner, Alastair Clarkson for the second year running. The Australians have stuck with the selection policy that saw them win last year, with only players who have received All Australian Honours eligible to play for the side. The side will be captained by 31-year-old Luke Hodge, who plays for Hawthorn Football Club.

Australia will relish the physical side of the game, no doubt looking to hit the Irish hard in the contact areas. Ireland, not used to dealing with hits above the waist, will do well to hang onto the ball when the Aussies apply shoulder to rib contact.

What the Aussie forwards lack in size, they make up for in mobility and speed. Eddie Betts, Robbie Gray and Hayden Ballantyne will look to put the pressure on in the Irish half while converting turnover ball into points.

The Australian squad is as follows:
Luke Hodge (c) (Hawthorn), Dustin Fletcher (gk) (Essendon), Hayden Ballantyne (Fremantle), Eddie Betts (Adelaide), Grant Birchall (Hawthorn), Luke Breust (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong), Andrew Gaff (West Coast), Brendon Goddard (Essendon), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), David Mundy (Fremantle), Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions), Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn), Nick Smith (Sydney Swans), Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs), Harry Taylor (Geelong), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs)

Verdict: Australia 4/10
The Australians are travelling to Ireland with 14 members of the squad who got the job done in last year’s series. Their outstanding forward line and solid midfield should prove too much for the spirited Irish side.

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