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No Ablett for International Rules Adelaide showcase

Football

Two-time Brownlow Medal winner Gary Ablett has withdrawn from the Australian team to play Ireland in the upcoming International Rules series, which begins at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

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Ablett has claimed All-Australian honours eight times in his 302-game career, but was set to make his first International Rules appearance on the weekend.

However, an AFL spokesman confirmed yesterday that the 33-year-old has dropped out of the two-match series for personal reasons.

Ablett’s sister Natasha died suddenly just days after he was named in the initial squad in October.

He is also completing a move from Gold Coast to Geelong after the Suns agreed to trade him to the Cats so he could be closer to family.

The league spokesman said a replacement player would not be required.

The AFL completed a 22-man squad last week with the additions of Hawthorn’s Jack Gunston, North Melbourne pair Robbie Tarrant and Ben Brown, Carlton’s Kade Simpson, Melbourne’s Neville Jetta and West Coast’s Luke Shuey.

Ablett had been one of the headline players in the star-studded squad that also includes Brownlow winners Patrick Dangerfield and Nat Fyfe.

Greater Western Sydney star Toby Greene had to withdraw from the team after breaking his little toe in a mishap while on holiday in New York.

The squad, to be coached by Geelong’s Chris Scott, will convene in Adelaide tomorrow for their first training session.

The series will then conclude at Domain Stadium in Perth on November 18.

The complete Australian International Rules squad:

Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Ben Brown (North Melbourne), Shaun Burgoyne (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats), Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle), Brendon Goddard (Essendon), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn), Michael Hibberd (Melbourne), Neville Jetta (Melbourne), Rory Laird (Adelaide Crows), Zac Merrett (Essendon), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide), Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats), Luke Shuey (West Coast), Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions).

-AAP 

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