International Rules Tests Returning to Australia in 2017

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The return of the International Rules Series in 2017 will feature Australia playing host to Ireland for two Tests.

The Australian Football League and the Gaelic Athletic Association will meet at as-yet unnamed venues November next. The Aussies plan to field a team of All-Australian footy players.

No International Rules Tests were played in 2016, but ad hoc matches in Perth and Dublin in recent years drew well at the gate.

Very strong crowds at the most recent staging of the matches were enough to provoke the decision to once again stage the event.

In the words of AFL football operations manager Mark Evans, “The one-off Test matches in Perth and Dublin over the last two years were two high-class encounters played in front of very strong crowds. Australian and Irish fans have shown that they want to see a spectacular and competitive contest played between the most talented AFL players and Ireland’s best Gaelic footballers.”

There has also been some discussion of holding future Tests in the United States, where fans with deep pockets have shown a willingness on many past occasions to see what is going on in the rest of the sports world. So avid are U.S. spectators that they even turn out in hordes to watch soccer draws.

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