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Comment: International Rules series is a novelty that has run its course

By Declan Bogue

Sometime today, boss Joe Kernan will pop along to Croke Park and name his International Rules team for the tour of Australia.

Already confirmed are the talking heads for the day, Mayo's Aidan O'Shea - who will captain the team - and Monaghan attacker Conor McManus.

There will be the usual candidates who have served Ireland in the past, a few new faces and it would be a major surprise if the likes of Zach Tuohy and Conor McKenna, men plying their trade as Aussie Rules players, were not included in the panel.

The games will be played on November 12 and 18. The first Test played in Adelaide will be a mild amusement but largely ignored with a rash of high-profile club games fixed for the same day.

The second leg in Perth will be like Chinese food. Worth consuming for sure, but once it's done it's instantly forgettable.

In a lot of ways, you have to be happy for those who make the cut and get on the trip. It's every young man's dream to fly to the other side of the world and be treated like a professional athlete, representing your country.

And yet the longer it goes on, the less relevant the link-up is for the GAA.

In the early years, there was hollow spoofery about 'sharing knowledge' and so on, which discounts two truisms: 1. No successful sports team reveal the ingredients of the special sauce to another side, and 2. There is such a thing as the internet, folks.

It would be nice to say that this has become a regular fixture on the calendar that the wider GAA population anticipate keenly, but that's far from the truth.

It goes entirely unnoticed until it's upon us. A novelty not without its charms, but not something to be taken seriously.

Belfast Telegraph

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