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18th Nov 2014

Australia lose star midfielder ahead of International Rules Series

Nat Fyfe receiving round-ball lessons from Kildare's Sean Hurley ahead of the winner-takes-all clash

Patrick McCarry

Australia’s IRS hopes have been hit by the late withdrawal of Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe from their squad.

Australia must now plan for their Saturday encounter with Ireland without the athletic abilities of Fyfe, who badly injured his shoulder in a training match against New South Wales Gaelic team. The AFL report that Fyfe injured his “good” right shoulder and will sit out the Ireland game as a precaution. His left shoulder has been operated on twice in recent years.

The 2014 AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player said, ‘I dived for a mark and simply landed the wrong way and it didn’t feel right. I’ve loved the experience over the last few days and meeting players from across the competition, and it’s incredibly disappointing to miss out.’

Irish management received a couple of scares during their practice match in Melbourne on Sunday. Darren Hughes injured his quad while Pearce Hanley was taken off with a quarter to go after damaging his jaw in an on-field collision.

Fyfe had been receiving tips on playing with the round ball from former Kildare inter-county player Sean Hurley. The Johnstownbridge man signed up with Fyfe’s Fremantle Dockers last month.

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