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Aidan O'Shea Got A Great Text From His Brother After Being Named Ireland Captain

Aidan O'Shea Got A Great Text From His Brother After Being Named Ireland Captain

Aidan O'Shea fired a message to his brother Seamus after he discovered that the had made - and been named the captain of - the Ireland International Rules squad for next month's series against Australia.

'Oh great, can you pick the squad for that as well so that you can get me and Conor in?' was the reply from his sibling.

The disclosure came after O'Shea had been asked if he had been requested for some input by manager Joe Kernan into what will be a 23-man Ireland panel.

"Jesus, no! Don't start spreading more rumours about me!" was his response, perhaps alluding some claims made by former Mayo managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly in an interview with the Irish Independent late last year.

O'Shea says that he was a little bit surprised to be named captain.

"I'd just asked work whether I could have the time off and then 10 minutes later Joe rang to say he was going to name me as captain.

Obviously delighted to be asked and then I saw in the paper last week the list of players who have captained their country. Delighted to be asked and it's a huge honour."

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Given his dedication to the Ireland team - this will be his fourth time as part of the Ireland squad - and Kernan's description of him as a 'leader', O'Shea probably should not have been so taken aback.

He says that International Rules is a game he enjoys, one he always wanted to play growing up.

I think it rewards some of the basic skills of the game.

If you're accurate with your skills from a kick-pass point of view you're guaranteed free possession nobody can tackle you when you take that mark. High catching, kick-outs are out over the 45, so it puts an onus on really going to challenge for the ball and if you go and win the ball, you get a reward for it.

O'Shea recognises a clarity in the rules of the game compared to its Gaelic football cousin. "There's obviously the physicality part of it as well, the defined tackle and the rules are very, very clear. If you ask somebody what the tackle is in Gaelic football it's very hard to explain it, whereas it's very clear and concise in this game."

Looking down through the 21-man provisional panel - two more players will be added before they travel to Australia - the lack of Dublin players is glaring. Due to a variety of reasons, including injuries and club commitments, there is no one from Jim Gavin's three-in-a-row team among Joe Kernan's personnel.

O'Shea finds it easy to understand why they are not involved.

I know that from our own perspective in Mayo that we have a lot of lads with legacy injuries from throughout the season that are just healing up and need time.

Put that with Mayo club football and Dublin [club football] - and everything thing else that goes on in life - boys just can't put their life on hold all the time. Obviously, I'm sure some of the lads from Dublin would have loved to play but it just doesn't suit this time around.

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Ireland play the first of two tests at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday November 12 and the second test is scheduled to take place six days later on November 18 at the Domain Stadium, Perth.

See Also: The Irish International Rules Squad Has Been Named

PJ Browne
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