International Rules Series

The International Rules Series is a senior men's competition in International rules football played each October, after the completion of the Australian Football League Grand Final and All-Ireland Football Final which are both played on the last weekend of September.

The Irish team is selected by the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Australian team is selected by the Australian Football League.

The series alternates host countries each year between Ireland and Australia. Since the resumption of the senior international series in 1998, the average attendance up to the conclusion of the 2006 series has been 48,199. Ireland has won seven matches, Australia has won five with a further two being drawn.

In 2004, the Series trophy was renamed the Cormac McAnallen Cup, after a Tyrone Gaelic Footballer Cormac McAnallen who died in 2004 from a heart condition. He also represented Ireland at this level in 2002.

Australian tests are sponsored by Foster's, while Irish tests are sponsored by Coca-Cola. The logos of the two brands are apparent on each team's uniform (Foster's for Australia and Coca-Cola for Ireland). The competition is run by the AFL and the GAA.

The best player in the Australian side each year is awarded the Jim Stynes Medal.

The test has sold out once in Australia in Perth in 2003, and the first series to sell out was in Ireland in 2006 when a record of 82,127 was set, making the test the largest crowd for an International sports fixture in Ireland.

The tests were indefinitely postponed by the GAA in 2007 following the 2006 International Rules Series, citing a series of violent on-field incidents. However, the games are resuming in October 2008, after discussions between the GAA and AFL. They will be held in Australia.

All-time standings (1984-2006)

Country Series won Test matches won 1
Australia 7 14
Ireland 6 14

1 Two draws (second test 1999, second test 2002).

Test results

Australia is the current holder of the Cormac McAnallen Cup, after winning the 2006 Series with both teams winning a match, but Australia won with an aggregate margin of 30 points. The series took place in Ireland, with tests played at Pearse Stadium in Galway (on October 28 2006) and Croke Park in Dublin (on November 5 2006).

Results of International Rules Series since 1998
Year Host Country First Test Stadium/Location Crowd Second Test Stadium/Location Crowd Aggregate Margin Series Winner
2008 Australia Subiaco Oval, Perth MCG, Melbourne
2006 Ireland IE 1.12.6 (48) def. AU 1.9.7 (40) Pearse Stadium, Galway 35,000* AU 3.15.6 (69) def. IE 0.7.10 (31) Croke Park, Dublin 82,127* AU 109 def. IE 79 (30) Australia
2005 Australia AU 2.27.7 (100) def. IE 3.11.13 (64) Subiaco Oval, Perth 39,098 AU 0.18.9 (63) def. IE 0.11.9 (42) Telstra Dome, Melbourne 45,428 AU:163; IE:106 (57) Australia
2004 Ireland IE 3.17.8 (77) def. AU 1.9.8 (41) Croke Park, Dublin 46,370 IE 1.15.4 (55) def. AU 0.12.5 (41) Croke Park, Dublin 60,515 IE:132; AU:82 (50) Ireland
2003 Australia AU 3.10.8 (56) def. IE 1.10.10 (46) Subiaco Oval, Perth 41,228* IE 2.9.9 (48) def. AU 1.10.9 (45) MCG, Melbourne 60,235 AU:101; IE:94 (7) Australia
2002 Ireland AU 2.13.8 (59) def. IE 1.13.8 (53) Croke Park, Dublin 44,421 Draw: IE 1.8.12 (42) AU 1.11.3 (42) Croke Park, Dublin 71,532 AU:101; IE:95 (6) Australia
2001 Australia IE 2.13.8 (59) def. AU 1.13.8 (53) MCG, Melbourne 48,121 IE 2.17.8 (71) def. AU 1.13.7 (52) Football Park, Adelaide 31,713 IE:130; AU:105 (25) Ireland
2000 Ireland AU 0.14.13 (55) def. IE 1.11.8 (47) Croke Park, Dublin 38,000 AU 2.15.11 (68) def. IE 1.12.9 (51) Croke Park, Dublin 57,289 AU:123; IE:98 (25) Australia
1999 Australia IE 2.16.10 (70) def. AU 0.15.17 (62) MCG, Melbourne 64,326 Draw: AU 2.12.4 (52) IE 1.11.13 (52) Football Park, Adelaide 45,187 IE:122; AU:114 (8) Ireland
1998 Ireland AU 2.12.14 (62) def. IE 2.12.13 (61) Croke Park, Dublin 22,000 IE 4.12.7 (67) def. AU 2.10.14 (56) Croke Park, Dublin 35,000 IE:128; AU:118 (10) Ireland
*=Sold out / Maximum Capacity
Earlier Tests (1984-1990)
Year Host Country Results Stadium Location Crowd
Nov. 17 1990 Australia Australia 50 d. Ireland 44 WACA Perth 7,700
Nov. 10 1990 Australia Ireland 52 d. Australia 31 Bruce Stadium Canberra 7,000
Nov. 2 1990 Australia Ireland 47 d. Australia 38 Waverley Park Melbourne 18,332
Nov. 1 1987 Ireland Australia 59 d. Ireland 55 Croke Park Dublin 27,023
Oct. 25 1987 Ireland Australia 72 d. Ireland 47 Croke Park Dublin 15,485
Oct. 18 1987 Ireland Ireland 53 d. Australia 51 Croke Park Dublin 15,532
Oct. 24 1986 Australia Ireland 55 d. Australia 32 Football Park Adelaide 10,000
Oct. 19 1986 Australia Ireland 62 d. Australia 46 Waverley Park Melbourne 10,883
Oct. 10 1986 Australia Australia 64 d. Ireland 57 WACA Perth 24,000
Oct. 28 1984 Ireland Australia 76 d. Ireland 71 Croke Park Dublin 32,318
Oct. 28 1984 Ireland Ireland 80 d. Australia 76 Croke Park Dublin 12,500
Oct. 21 1984 Ireland Australia 70 d. Ireland 57 Páirc Uí Chaoimh Cork 8,000

Jim Stynes Medal

The Jim Stynes Medal is awarded to the best player of the Australia international rules football team for each series.

It was first awarded in 1998 and named after Jim Stynes, the former Gaelic footballer who went on to win the Brownlow Medal, the highest award in Australian rules football.

Medal Winners



The International Rules Series has been broadcast on television in Australia and Ireland since the late 1990s. In 2006, it was broadcast by Network Ten (delayed) in Australia and RTÉ Two (live) in Ireland. In 2005, it was broadcast by the Nine Network.

Apart from Australia and Ireland, the international focus of the series has seen a growing international audience. From 2005, broadcasting extended its reach to the United States via Setanta Sports North America and in Hong Kong via the Australia Network. The 2006 series was also broadcast to the United Kingdom on Setanta Sports 2.

Future of the series

The future of the series was brought into doubt through the on-field actions of Australian co-captain Chris Johnson, with high contact against at least 3 Irish players. Many Australians raised the argument that the actions of Johnson and other players such as Trent Croad was in response to low contact by the Irish players unaccustomed to tackling. As Johnson's penalties applied only to future International tests and not to AFL home and away matches, the AFL and GAA were forced to negotiate suitable penalties for similar future indiscretions. The harsh reaction of the Irish media and calls amongst various officials threatened to cancel the series and labelled the Australian side a bunch of thugs.

Brendan Fevola's assault of an Irish barman which resulted in his being sent home from the Australian tour in the 2006 International Rules Series brought the series into question for the behaviour and laid-back attitude which the professional Australian players have towards the series.

In 2006, following the Under 19 series, the GAA raised the possibility of making it a biennial event to reduce cost of travel.

Also in 2006, the AFL's international development department, with interests in the development of South African talent, announced its intentions to include South Africa as part of an international tri-series in 2010.

Following controversies in the 2006 series, the Irish team coach and GAA president again cast doubts on the future of the series. The AFL's chief, however expressed optimism. The GAA stated that it intended to scrap the 2007 series altogether if the AFL did not abide by a set of laws that they intended to set out. Under the new rules, tackling limitations could be imposed by the GAA to minimise incidents such as the tackle laid by Australia's Danyle Pearce that knocked out Irish player Graham Geraghty in the 2006 series.

In December 2006, the GAA decided to abandon the 2007 series.

"On the recommendation of the Management Committee, it was agreed that there would be no Junior or Senior Series of games in 2007. It was agreed that a document would be prepared by the Gaelic Athletic Association, which would put on record the basis of structure, rules, their implementation and penalties on which the future of any Series must be considered. This document will be brought back to Central Council for decision after which it will be forwarded to the AFL for their consideration. If the Gaelic Athletic Association’s terms, as outlined in this document, are acceptable to the AFL, then discussions on the future of the Series could take place. Dessie Farrell, the player’s representative stated that while there would be some disappointment amongst players that the 2007 Series will not take place, the decision was, in his view, probably a wise one.



See also

External links

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