CORK’S PADDY KELLY has been called into the Irish squad ahead of the first International Rules Test.
The move comes after Darran O’Sullivan was forced to confirm his withdrwal from the squad yesterday, due to his commitments with Mid Kerry.
Stephen Cluxton, Leighton Glynn, Finian Hanley and Colm Begley may yet be forced to pull out of the squad because of their club commitments, while Karl Lacey has already been called up to the squad to compensate for the potentially sizable absentee list.
Meanwhile, despite having already competed in four International Rules Series, Steven McDonnell has said he is as hungry as ever for victory.
The Armagh man has spoken of his disappointment in failing to regain the Cormac McAnallen trophy last year, and also claimed he was not disappointed to miss out on the captaincy this year.
Speaking to gaa.ie, he said:
“It was a massive honour for me last year to captain the team but I think that it is only fair this year that it is being passed around and with Stephen Cluxton you have to admire what he has gone and done this year as a footballer.”
In addition, McDonnell believes the fact that the side are playing away from home may not necessarily be a significant disadvantage.
“The fact that it is going to Australia this year make it that bit more special because we always feel that the travelling team has the added incentive of being together a wee bit more often and it probably adds a bit of value to our chances going and winning the tournament.
The team fly out this Saturday, with the first test set to take place on 28 October.