AFL 'open' to International Rules return

June 13, 2024

The Irish International Rules squad training at St Anne's Park, Adelaide.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

The International Rules series could return after a seven-year hiatus.

Reports from Australia suggest that the AFL is ‘open’ to reviving the hybrid series which was first contested between Ireland and Australia 40 years ago. However, former GAA president Liam McCarthy ruled out a return last year on the basis that it would be difficult to find a slot in the GAA calendar with the new split-season.  

“The AFL is open to reviving the International Rules series,” Herald Sun journalist Glenn McFarlane told Fox Footy’s Midweek Tackle.

“It’s been in a hiatus since Covid. We haven’t had a series since 2017. There (have) been a few issues with the GAA, there’s not been a lot of discussion and conversation.”

He added: “I’ve spoken to the great Garry Lyon, who was the famous Australian coach. He was saying ‘boys, how would you love to see Zak Butters play with Nick Daicos, playing with Harley Reid, playing with Marcus Bontempelli — that would be awesome’.

“Now, it’s still a fair way off, but the AFL is definitely open to having a chat to the GAA and potentially setting that up for some time down the track.”

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