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GAA confirms playing International Rules series in the U.S. is a possibility

The hybrid game won’t take place this year but a two-game series agreed for Australia in 2017.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THE GAA HAS announced the International Rules series against Australia won’t go ahead in 2016.

A two-game series will instead take place Down Under in 2017, according to a statement released by the GAA on Sunday morning.

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail is an enthusiast of the series and the organization confirmed they are exploring the adaptation of the game for an exhibition series in the United States in the future.

The stock of the much-maligned series plummeted in recent years, but an outstanding Test match between both countries last November appears to have secured the survival of the hybrid game, for the medium term at least.

“It was not possible to organise a two-game series in Australia this year and for that reason we have decided to take a long term view of the series and press pause for 2016,” Ó Fearghail said.

“We have committed to three series for the moment, beginning in Australia in 2017 with the timing for the Irish and U.S events to be confirmed later in the year as to whether they should take place in consecutive years, every second year or some other combination.

“We look forward to working with the AFL in the planning of future series from 2017 onwards.”

The idea of playing a ‘New York Test’ was encouraged last year by Essendon captain Brendon Goddard, who featured against Ireland in 2006 and 2014.

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“I think it’s a great idea,” Goddard said in November. “By all reports, the market is there with the large expat community of both Australians and Irish.

“It’s just about logistics and trying to find a field big enough with the facilities, the stands and so forth.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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