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Kernan finalises International Rules squad with additions of Cork defender and Armagh forward

Sean Powter and Niall Grimley make up the 23-man Ireland squad to face Australia.

Image: Inpho

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL RULES manager Joe Kernan has confirmed the final two places in his 23-man squad will be filled by Cork’s Sean Powter and Armagh’s Niall Grimley.

Kernan had intended to name 23 players at the official press briefing in Croke Park yesterday, but the late withdrawals of Paul Kerrigan (club commitments) and Conor McKenna (ankle injury) forced him to leave two places free.

Ireland played a final trial game at HQ last night, with the seven players named on Kernan’s stand-by list still in the running to book a spot on the plane Down Under.

“Sean Powter from Cork and Niall Grimley from Armagh are the two players to fill the last two stops,” Kernan told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

“We picked them last night after the final trial match in Croke Park.”

20-year-old Cork wing-back Powter made the cut, just one year after making his senior debut for the Rebels. Grimley, the 6’2″ Armagh forward who also made his inter-county bow in 2016, was the second player promoted after last night’s game.

Kernan has opted to fill his squad with a mix of small pacey players in defence and attack, in addition to tall, physical bodies around midfield.

Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Connaire Harrison, Caolon Mooney (both Down), Sean Murphy and Brendan Murphy (both Carlow) were left disappointed after falling at the final hurdle.

Ireland play Australia in the opening test in Adelaide on Sunday on 12 November, with the second test taking place on 18 November in Perth.

Here’s the Ireland squad in full:

Goalkeeper (1)

Niall Morgan (Tyrone)

Defenders (9)

Chris Barrett (Mayo)
Eoin Cadogan (Cork)
Killian Clarke (Cavan)
Peter Crowley (Kerry)
Brendan Harrison (Mayo)
Paul Murphy (Kerry)
Karl O’Connell (Monaghan)
Zach Tuohy (Laois)
Sean Powter (Cork)

Midfielders (6)

Kevin Feely (Kildare)
Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast/Mayo)
Michael Murphy* (Donegal)
Aidan O’Shea* Mayo)
Enda Smith* (Roscommon)
Gary Brennan (Clare)

Forwards (7)

Paul Geaney (Kerry)
Conor Mc Manus (Monaghan)
Niall Murphy (Sligo)
Conor Sweeney (Tipperary)
Shane Walsh (Galway)
Niall Sludden (Tyrone)
Niall Grimley (Armagh)

*Could also play in attack

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