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Ablett named for Aussie debut

GARY Ablett will represent Australia for the first time in next month’s International Rules series.

Ablett, who is preparing to return to Geelong after seven seasons with Gold Coast, is one of nine debutants in the 17-man squad, along with fellow Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe.

“Selection in the Australian side is about both recognising the great players in our competition, and those players who are emerging as stars who will dominate the seasons to come,” coach Chris Scott said.

 “As selectors, we needed to balance the team with players who have represented Australia before, and understand the game and how it is played against Ireland, and also look to the next generation of elite players who deserve the opportunity to represent us on an international stage.

 “All Australian selection at some point in a player’s career was a pre-requisite for consideration, as we also believe that the best players want to learn from each other and provide an environment where they can be better again when they return to their clubs,” he said.

Current Brownlow medallist, Richmond star Dustin Martin declined an invitation to wear the green and gold.

The Aussies will meet the Irish in Adelaide on November 12 and Perth on November 18.

2017 AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL RULES SQUAD

Gary Ablett (Gold Coast Suns), Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Shaun Burgoyne (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats), Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle), Brendon Goddard(Essendon), Toby Greene (GWS Giants), Michael Hibberd (Melbourne), Rory Laird (Adelaide Crows), Zac Merrett (Essendon), Scott Pendlebury(Collingwood), Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide), Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats), Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions).