Glass, Nic Nat keen for Irish gig
Glass, Nic Nat keen for Irish gig

West Coast duo Nic Naitanui and Darren Glass have put their hands up to play in an International Rules Test against Ireland at Patersons Stadium on November 22 under a revamped format that only allows All-Australians to represent the country.

The AFL is in discussions with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) on rule changes that will make it easier for ruckmen and key-position players like Naitanui and Glass to be more competitive under the format.

The changes are expected to include more rotations per quarter and the ball returning to the centre square after an over, not just a goal, to encourage more ruck taps.

Only current players who have received an All-Australian guernsey at least once in their careers will be eligible for selection to make the fixture a genuine showcase of the AFL's best talent.

The Australian team will be led by Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, with Collingwood president Eddie McGuire acting as the event's chef de mission.

_The West Australian _understands Gary Ablett, Steve Johnson, Cyril Rioli and Dane Swan are among other stars who have committed to playing.

Dual North Melbourne premiership player David King, who represented Australia in two series held over 2000-01, said the AFL needed to get away from the 2013 debacle when an Aboriginal side lost to the Irish by a record combined margin of 101 points.

"Last year was a disaster," the two-times All-Australian said.

"That had to be put on the record. The AFL have half acknowledged that. It wasn't played in the manner and players weren't preparing in a manner that was going to allow them to play their best representative football. That probably was a frustration for the rest of the guys that had given this competition the service and the time that it required.

"Any time you can strip it back and make it a representative honour is good.

"I'm sure the Irish come out here with a point to prove. They love getting out here and they love competing.

"It's a big deal for them - it's got to be a big deal for us."

AFL spokesman James Tonkin said Perth was chosen to host the one-off Test because the series had previously been well supported in WA and the venue was the right size.

More than 35,000 people attended the previous International Rules Test played in Perth in 2008.

The West Australian

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