The GAA and AFL have modified some of the laws of International Rules Football ahead of Ireland's visit to Perth in November.
Restrictions on short kick-outs to promote contested marks and easing the limit on handpasses are expected to benefit the Australians after comprehensive Irish victories in the 2013 and 2011 series.
Ireland will play a single Test against the hosts on 22 November 2014.
The key changes are:
- Goalkeepers must now kick the ball out beyond the 45m line after all wides, behinds and overs, which will help bring the taller players (and contested marks) into play. Failure of a goalkeeper to kick over the 45m line will result in a free kick to the opposition (from the 45m line).
- The number of consecutive handpasses allowed has been raised from 4 to 6.
- Interchanges (rolling substitutions) have been increased to 15 per quarter (60 for match) with an unlimited number allowed at the quarter, half and three quarter time intervals.
- Marks have been eliminated for kicks backwards – play on will be called in such circumstances
The modifications are designed to allow for a broader range of AFL players to participate in the game.
The AFL recently confirmed that the Australian team for the 2014 Series will be compiled entirely of players who have All Australian experience.
Major AFL stars such as Patrick Dangerfield, Luke Hodge, Scott Pendlebury and Joel Selwood already committed to the 2014 game.