On March 1st The Toughest Trade returns to our screens and, on first glance, it looks like it might be the finest series yet.
If unfamiliar, the concept is simple: Two amateur Irish GAA stars head abroad to try their hand at a different professional sport, while two pro athletes from different sporting codes arrive in Ireland to try their hand at one of Gaelic football or hurling.
This year, Donegal footballer Michael Murphy is off to train with the Clermont rugby team, who currently sit top of the French TOP14 - one of the most prestigious leagues in world rugby. Wales's record try-scorer Shane Williams filled Murphy's boots for Glenswilly in Donegal, and - SPOILER ALERT - we already know he seriously impressed on his debut, with Glenswilly previously telling us that the former Lion was "magic."
In the small ball games, Wexford hurler and occasional League of Ireland footballer Lee Chin swaps his helmet for that of a Vancouver Canuck - the Canadian NHL franchise which has reached three Stanley Cup finals since joining America's national ice hockey league as an expansion team in 1970. Going the other way is Canadian hockey player and former NHL pro Alex Auld, who we already know opted against going in goal for the hurling despite playing goaltender in the NHL for 12 years.
Auld recently told The Last Word on TodayFM:
I didn't play in goal. The lack of equipment was a little crazy for me so I played out the field.
The one thing I noticed about the goalie here... in hockey the goalie is basically a defensive position and in hurling there are a lot less shots but the puckout is a big part of the game.
AIB have now released the trailer for what's fast become a new staple in the GAA season, and as expected it looks absolutely marvellous; there's just something quite lovely about seeing Shane Williams emerge into the Glenswilly dressing room wearing the club's training gear. You can watch the new trailer below:
— AIB_GAA (@AIB_GAA) February 20, 2017
The Toughest series three premieres on RTÉ2 at 9:30pm on Wednesday March 1st, and will be repeated on Friday March 10th at 10:35pm. We cannot wait.