Ireland has a long established association with Aussie Rules football. Every year the scouts turn their radar to our shores in search of budding GAA talents who have the potential to succeed in the AFL. And some have really thrived down under.
Kerry's Tadhg Kennelly enjoyed a career spanning 10 years with the Sydney Swans, picking up a Premiership title in 2005 along the way as well as being inducted in the club's Hall of Fame. His fellow county native Tommy Walsh, who spent five years playing Aussie Rules, also spent a term with the Swans after transferring from St Kilda.
And now it looks like two more candidates are looking to add their name to the recent list of Aussie Rules exports. Colin O’Riordan (Tipperary) and Darragh Joyce (Kilkenny) are in Melbourne this week aiming to impress scouts at the AFL Draft Combine in the Etihad Stadium.
The competition is rife for these contracts. O'Riordan and Joyce will be among 80 hopefuls who will be put through a series of tough exercises in an attempt to secure a contract with Aussie Rules.
Our Irish representatives will be required to complete a number of fitness and skill based drills as part of the test. These include sprints, agility, jumping, endurance, ball-handling and goal-kicking.
Colin O'Riordan won an All-Ireland football medal with Tipperary in 2001 when he was just 15 years of age. The dual star who turns 20 next week, was nominated the U21 footballer of the year and was nominated for an All Star at senior level last year in his debut season.
Joyce, bother of Kilkenny defender Kieran, captained the county minors to an All-Ireland hurling title last year. He also played a key role for Kilkenny in this season's championship before bowing out to Galway in the semi-final
Paddy Brophy of Kildare impressed at last year's combine which earned him a contract with the West Coast Eagles following on from his team-mate Seán Hurley who was offered a spot with Fremantle.