Banned Brennan to toughen Irish squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Banned Brennan to toughen Irish squad

By Grace Uhr 07/10/2008 01:33:20 PM Comments (0)

An ex-Irish rugby international who received a five-year ban for attacking a spectator has been made tackling coach for Ireland's International Rules squad to tour Australia later this month.

Trevor Brennan initially received a life ban from rugby after he attacked an Ulster fan in the terrace before a European Rugby Cup game early last year.

It was later reduced to five years and Brennan has since retired, but the towering front rower has now officially been added to manager Sean Boylan's coaching backroom for the hybrid game after also assisting in their preparation for the last series two years ago.

"What Sean wanted me to do was to work on the tackle because a lot of the lads are not used to the whole tackle situation in the game," Brennan told the Irish Independent.

"If you look over the last two series, when they have taken the tackle they have tended to react badly to it.

"I'm trying to change the culture of how to react.

"In rugby you get tackled, get hit hard but you just get up and get on with it.

"I was hoping to bring that part into the game."

The series has been revived this year, after being shelved following Australia's tour of Ireland in 2006, when the Irish were incensed by on-field violence by the Australians and an off-field tangle between Brendan Fevola and an Irish barman.

The AFL has moved to prevent a repeat this year by ruling that suspensions earned during the series will be served during next year's AFL home and away season.

But Brennan said the Irishmen also needed to learn how to handle Australia's physical approach.

"When it gets physical sometimes the Irish guys have reacted to being tackled and hit hard and it's just about the Irish guys adjusting to the culture of the tackle," he said.

"Gaelic football has had the shoulder tackle but over the last 20 years has got a lot softer, to my mind, than what it would have been in the 1980s and early 1990s.

"There is less contact and the referee is blowing for lesser offences and producing far more cards.

"That's what Gaelic footballers have become used to, so it's a case of just getting them more accustomed to the hit, taking the tackle and making the tackle in those sessions."

Now based in Toulouse, France, Brennan will return to Ireland and conduct a two-day session this weekend.

He has been studying up on AFL through DVDs and said the hybrid game is weighted more heavily in Australia's favour.

"I'd say the game is about 80 per cent more aligned to AFL, the use of the round ball can't make up that much ground."

Both Australia and Ireland will name their squads Wednesday, with the matches to be played in Perth on October 24 and in Melbourne on October 31.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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