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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 26 September 2020

Kilkenny All-Ireland winning captain Joyce could play first AFL game for St Kilda on Sunday

Darragh Joyce joined the Melbourne-based club in October 2016.

Darragh Joyce captained Kilkenny to win the 2014 Al-Ireland minor title.
Darragh Joyce captained Kilkenny to win the 2014 Al-Ireland minor title.
Image: INPHO/@StKildaFC

JUST UNDER FOUR years since he captained Kilkenny to All-Ireland minor hurling glory, Darragh Joyce could be in line to make his AFL debut on Sunday.

Joyce has been named in the extended St Kilda squad for their Round 15 tie against Melbourne at the MCG.

The Rower-Inistioge club man has been selected amongst eight interchange players in the St Kilda setup with four to be omitted when the final squad is announced tomorrow.

A debut would be a major Aussie Rules breakthrough for Joyce after he has been in action of late for St Kilda’s reserve team Sandringham in the Victorian Football League.

Joyce moved to Australia in October 2016 to begin his Aussie Rules career, two weeks after he hit 0-10 when his club lost out in the semi-final of the Kilkenny senior hurling championship.

Despite not playing Gaelic football at club level, he appeared on the radar for AFL scouts through his performances on the Leinster schools football stage for Good Counsel College (New Ross).

Joyce headed to the 2015 AFL Draft Combine after being previously invited for trials in Dublin by Tadhg Kennelly. That’s where St Kilda’s interest first emerged and he linked up with the Melbourne-based club the following year, when they also signed Westmeath’s Ray Connellan.

In 2014 Joyce captained Kilkenny when they collected the All-Ireland minor hurling title against Limerick.

His older brother Kieran retired from inter-county hurling last October after winning four All-Ireland senior medals with Kilkenny during his career.

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Fintan O'Toole

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