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Ready to rumble at Croker

Croke Park is set for the decisive second test tonight.

Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

THE GAA HAVE confirmed that next year’s International Rules Series will go ahead in Australia, the Press Association have reported this evening.

GAA President Christy Cooney revealed that the games will take place on October 21 and 28, 2011, but that venues have yet to be decided.

He added that the Series will be taking a one-year break the following year and resuming again in 2013.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou believes that both associations have “got the balance right” in deciding to continue with the Series.

I think we’ve got the balance right. The (structure) was to give the players an opportunity to look forward to playing and touring instead of every two years.

Because we didn’t play last year, next year they’ll be invited to come to Australia and that will be the second of the two years and then there’ll be a break the year after.”

Irish team manager Anthony Tohill has added Benny Coulter and Michael Shields to his squad for the second Test at Croke Park this evening.

The pair, both of whom missed the 47-40 first Test defeat in Limerick,  replace Emmet Bolton and Niall McNamee, who were promoted to the match day 23 from the standby list last week.

Tohill is pleased Coulter has recovered from a knock:

We’re happy with where he is at, he’s very keen to play and disappointed that he wasn’t able to play in the first game. We are happy with where it is at we’re looking forward to Benny being a part of the game.

Ireland: Steven McDonnell, captain (Armagh), Finian Hanley, vice-captain (Galway), Colm Begley (Laois), Bernard Brogan (Dublin), Graham Canty (Cork), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Martin Clarke (Down), Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), Brendan Donaghy (Armagh), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Daniel Goulding (Cork), James Kavanagh (Kildare), Paddy Keenan (Louth), Tadhg Kennelly (Kerry), Seán McDermott (Roscommon), Ciarán McKeever (Armagh), Kevin McKernan (Down), Brendan Murphy (Carlow), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Kevin Reilly (Meath), Michael Shields (Cork), Tommy Walsh (Kerry), Benny Coulter (Down).

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