Discipline key for Ireland rules series - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Discipline key for Ireland rules series

25/08/2008 08:02:55 PM Comments (0)

Australia coach Mick Malthouse has promised players with discipline and a proven history in playing international rules will be the key requirements as he picks a team for the reprieved football series.

On-field violence and Brendan Fevola's drunken shenanigans in an Irish pub on the 2006 tour have put international rules firmly in the last chance saloon as the AFL resurrects it this year after a one-year break.

Also, steps have been taken to stop the on-field violence which so incensed the Irish they refused to play the series last year.

While Malthouse said Australia would not "back off", he indicated he would look at players renowned for discipline, as well as finding those who had excelled at the hybrid game.

"If the Irish think it's going to be a soft option we take and back off from being a physical side, then they're wrong," Malthouse said.

"There are rules which state you can do things and we will try and stay on that line within the rules.

"For the selection we are looking at players with a discipline about them that will respect the series, respect the jumper they are wearing and respect the opposition."

Malthouse began his campaign with the naming of three ex-players with international experience, including his former Collingwood skipper Nathan Buckley, as coaching assistants.

Ex-West Coast star Glen Jakovich and former Carlton player Matthew Lappin were also chosen for the two-Test series.

All three represented Australia at international rules, which Malthouse said was a pivotal factor.

"I'm a bloke who hasn't played it, hasn't coached it ... you've got to get the best deputies you possibly can," Malthouse said.

"The three people we've chosen have all played, all are intelligent men, and they've still got an active role in AFL coaching or commentating."

Buckley and Jakovich are now media pundits, while Lappin is an assistant coach at Carlton.

Buckley is a former Australia captain, while Lappin is a four-time representative at international rules.

The matches will be held on October 24 at Perth's Subiaco Oval and October 31 at the MCG.

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