The reason there are no Dublin players in the International Rules squad seems to be a simple one 2 years ago

The reason there are no Dublin players in the International Rules squad seems to be a simple one

Why would you turn down a free trip to Australia?

Sure, you're a professional of sorts over there but as a GAA player, these experiences are few and far between.

A trip down under for three weeks to represent your country then letting the shackles loose for a few days before heading home seems like an opportunity hard to turn down.

But then it seemed like all the Dublin players did, another reason to get on their back supposedly but that's not the case.

First of all, you can all but rule out these players:

  • Diarmuid Connolly
  • James McCarthy
  • Dean Rock
  • John Small
  • Philly McMahon
  • Con O'Callaghan

They are all still playing with their clubs and will be hopeful of continuing training as they prepare for the Leinster Championship.

Then, you have to remember there is an All-Star trip, each of these players (excluding Connolly) along as the likes of Stephen Cluxton, Cian O'Sullivan, Jonny Cooper and anyone else nominated from Dublin may have one eye on that trip too.

Then there is the fact that most of these lads are working normal jobs and studying in college and unless their jobs are seriously understanding it's hard to just get up and leave and take three weeks annual leave.

And, in the case of the Dublin lads, they'll have their bloody team holiday coming up soon.

The topic was discussed on Wednesday night's SportsJOE Live by three experienced International Rules players in the form of show host Colm Parkinson and he was joined by Aidan O'Mahony and Colm Begley.

O'Mahony gave his reasoning for Dublin not sending over players:

"I think it’s both sides, even the Australian team I see, the two teams that were in the final there’s no representative from either team.

"Obviously, the Dublin omission is a big thing. They’ve won three-in-a-row now, they’re going constantly for the last couple of years, you can look at their club scene St.Vincent’s and Ballymun a lot of the players from both of those teams would have been (going).

"It’s a great two weeks or three weeks over there, you’re a professional for two weeks and then when the two games finish the reigns are lifted off you.

"It’s a great trip."

Begley also gave his view on the trip:

"It may mean more to lads in lesser counties to represent their country, whereas some lads playing in All-Irelands would mean more to them or they’re involved in their clubs and competing for club All-Irelands as well.

"You’re looking at players playing the whole year round, Dublin, Kerry it’s an awkward time for them and for Australian players too they’re involved in contracts, any bit of an injury as well they won’t be allowed to play because they’d have to see a surgeon or injury rehab so a lot of players are told that they can’t play."

But it didn't seem to be a case that Dublin ordered their players to not play, Paul Mannion went for trials as Parkinson noted:

 "Paul Mannion was at trials so I don’t think Dublin have completely shunned it maybe they just have genuine scheduling issues and the whole thing of taking three weeks annual leave, you’ll have a lot of them used up by the time October comes."

So there you have it, it doesn't seem like a case where the players universally decided it was a waste of time, it more so seems like a logistical problem.

You can watch the full episode below