Two Irish stars in line for top All-Australian honours

Cora Staunton and Orla O’Dwyer are in the initial 40-strong squad.

Huge achievement: Cora Staunton (left) of Mayo and GWS Giants, and Tipperary and Brisbane Lions' Orla O'Dwyer.
Huge achievement: Cora Staunton (left) of Mayo and GWS Giants, and Tipperary and Brisbane Lions' Orla O'Dwyer.
Image: PA Images.

TWO OF IRELAND’S Aussie Rules stars are in line for top honours in the game.

Cora Staunton and Orla O’Dwyer have made the initial 40-strong 2022 AFLW All-Australian squad, which will be whittled down to the equivalent of the All-Stars team on these shores.

21 players – including a captain and vice-captain – will make the final side, which will be announced at Tuesday’s W Awards in Melbourne.

Mayo great Staunton and Tipperary triple-threat O’Dwyer have both enjoyed stellar individual seasons, and could now etch their names into history as the first Irishwomen to make a final All-Australian team.

Jim Stynes was included in the men’s equivalent in 1991 and 1993.

With players from all 14 AFLW clubs nominated, 40-year-old Staunton is the only Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants star to get the nod, rewarded for her impressive 18-goal haul this season.

O’Dwyer, a Premiership winner with Brisbane Lions in 2021 and still in the hunt for the 2022 flag, has been the picture of consistency this campaign.

The 23-year-old has averaged 15 disposals and over 350 metres gained per game, kicking six goals and winning four Lions MVP awards — and is nominated alongside team-mates Emily Bates, Greta Bodey and Natalie Grider.

Melbourne FC – home of Dublin duo Sinéad Goldrick and Lauren Magee – dominate the list of nominees with seven players included ahead of their preliminary final against O’Dwyer Brisbane on Saturday.

Adelaide Crows (Ailish Considine) and Fremantle Dockers (Áine Tighe) lock horns in the other prelim decider, with the two winners facing off in the following Saturday’s Grand Final.

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14 Irish players in total have featured in the AFLW this season.

This week on the Front Row – The42’s new rugby podcast in partnership with Guinness – panellist Eimear Considine makes a welcome return… and she’s brought her Ireland roommate, Hannah O’Connor, along too. They chat about broken noses, tanning routines, initiation songs and balancing the Women’s Six Nations with teaching, plus how one fan named her child after Ireland winger Beibhinn Parsons! Click here to subscribe or listen below:

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