Ireland manager Tohill does homework for Rules opener

Ireland manager Anthony Tohill is hoping time spent on YouTube could help his team make a winning start in the International Rules Series in Melbourne on Friday morning (0945 BST).

Tohill says that he has found out "a lot" about the opposition by using the internet site.

"We probably know more about them now that we have done on previous tours," added the Ireland boss.

The Irish are aiming for revenge after the Australians' triumph 12 months ago.

Ireland vice-captain Ciaran McKeever believes that the Irish "let ourselves down" a year ago.

"We struggled to get many overs (three pointers) and we just weren't used to the tackle but hopefully we've done our homework," said the Armagh man.

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Journalist Tim Lane says Aussie interest in the series is "waning"

Historically, the away team have fared better during International Rules series given the bonding aspect of the trip and the fact that visiting teams have often prepared better for the Test matches.

Australia may be defending the Cormac McAnallen Trophy but there have been suggestions in the home media this week that interest in the Series Down Under has started to wane.

Indeed, Tteam manager Rodney Eade felt compelled to reject assertions that a lack of interest from top AFL players has led to a weakened squad this time round.

"A couple of big names are missing but the players this year are very equivalent to last year's squad," insisted Eade.

"We're very pleased with the squad we've got."

Tohill has yet to announce his panel for Friday's match but he has confirmed that Donegal's late call-up Karl Lacey will not feature.

Lacey was added to the panel last weekend because of doubts over Colm Begley's availability.

However, Begley did travel to Australia along with Ireland captain and fellow Parnell's player Stephen Cluxton after the club's exit from the Dublin Championship so Lacey will not be involved in Friday's game.

With Cluxton not a believer in talking to the media, McKeever undertook the press conference duties alongside Tohill at Thursday's pre-match press conference in Melbourne.

The Australian squad only held their first training session together on Sunday evening but captain Brad Green believes that "good work has been done" this week.

"When we came together on Sunday for our first training session to Tuesday night's match practice, the team moved forward in leaps and bounds in the way we used the ball," said Green.

"The improvement has been fantastic in the whole squad."

The roof on the 55,000-seater Etihad Stadium will be closed during the game.

Ireland squad: S Cluxton (Dublin), E Cadogan (Cork), F Hanley (Galway), N McGee (Donegal), J McMahon (Tyrone), K Reilly (Meath), E Bolton (Kildare), C McKeever (Armagh), K McKernan (Down), C Begley (Laois), B Murphy (Carlow), A Walsh (Cork), D Hughes (Monaghan), E Callaghan (Kildare), L Glynn (Wicklow), T Kennelly (Sydney Swans & Kerry), P Kelly (Cork), Z Tuohy (Carlton & Laois), P Hanley (Brisbane Lions & Mayo), S McDonnell (Armagh), K Donaghy (Kerry), M Murphy (Donegal), T Walsh (Sydney Swans & Kerry).

Australia squad: R Douglas (Adelaide Crows), J Frawley (Melbourne), R Gray (Port Adelaide), B Green (Melbourne), S Grigg (Richmond), J Kelly (Geelong Cats), J King (Richmond), B McGlynn (Sydney Swans), T McKenzie (Gold Coast Suns), S Milne (St Kilda), A Monfries (Essendon), R Nahas (Richmond), M Nicoski (West Coast), M Robinson (Carlton), L Shiels (Hawthorn), Z Smith (Gold Coast Suns), M Suckling (Hawthorn), A Swallow (North Melbourne), J Trengove (Melbourne), B Vince (Adelaide Crows), C Ward (GWS Giants), D Wojcinski (Geelong Cats), E Wood (Western Bulldogs).

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