Ten Ulster players are included in manager Anthony Tohill’s 31-strong provisional squad for the International Rules series against Australia.
The squad will be trimmed to 23 next Tuesday when the captain for the series will also be confirmed.
Tohill and his selectors have included Donegal trio Karl Lacey, Michael Murphy and Neil McGee as well as Armagh duo Ciaran McKeever and Steven McDonnell.
Also in the mix for places in the official squad are Down duo Kevin McKernan and Danny Hughes as well as Monaghan’s Darren Hughes and Derry ace Chrissy McCaigue who is already playing Rules football Down Under.
Completing the Ulster representation in the squad is vastly experienced Tyrone ace Joe McMahon.
A number of the players including Murphy, McKernan and McMahon are currently engaged in championship activity with their clubs and depending on progress that is made, some or all may yet have to forgo the trip.
Team manager Tohill said yesterday: “We are very happy with the panel that has been assembled and with the mood within the squad.
“Those who have trained with us have applied themselves diligently and are looking forward to the challenge of regaining the Cormac McAnallen trophy.
“A number of other players were approached to join the training panel but were unable to do so due to injury and other commitments.
“The Selectors and I are working our way through the difficult job of cutting the training panel to the required number of 23. Players not selected in the final 23 will be on standby.”
l IN last night’s Derry senior hurling championship final replay, Kevin Lynch’s Dungiven beat Lavey by 5-10 to 1-7.
Kevin Hinphey proved the ace in the Dungiven side’s pack by landing three goals which underlined their total authority.
They led by 4-7 to 0-3 at the break before dropping down a gear in the second-half and will now meet Loughgiel in the Ulster Club semi-final on Sunday.
Ireland International Rules Preliminary Panel: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Rob Kelly, Emmet Bolton, Tomas O'Connor, Eamon Callaghan (all Kildare), Brendan Murphy (Carlow) Colm Begley (Laois) Kevin Reilly (Meath), Karl Lacey, Neil McGee, Michael Murphy (all Donegal), Steven McDonnell, Ciarán McKeever (both Armagh), Danny Hughes, Kevin McKernan (both Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Finian Hanley (Galway), Donal Vaughan (Mayo), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Aidan Walsh, Patrick Kelly (both Cork), Kieran Donaghy, Darran O'Sullivan, (both Kerry), Tommy Walsh (Kerry/St Kilda), Michael Quinn (Longford /Essendon), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry/Sydney Swans), Zach Touhy (Laois/Carlton) Tadhg Kennelly (Kerry/Sydney Swans),Pearse Hanley (Mayo/Brisbane Lions).