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IRS squad begins training in Adelaide

Lee Gaskin // afl.com.au   November 9, 2017 6:03 PM

AFL 2017 Media - Virgin Australia IRS Press Conference

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 08: Ross Lyon, coach of the Dockers and Australian assistant coach takes questions from the the floor during the media conference to confirm match dates in Adelaide and Perth respectively for the two-test Virgin Australia International Rules Series later this year, at Domain Stadium on August 08, 2017, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)

BASIC kicking and handball drills were on the menu as the Australian squad began a crash course in maneuvering the round ball ahead of Sunday's first Test in the Virgin Australia International Rules Series at Adelaide Oval.

The Australian squad - featuring Port Adelaide stars Paddy Ryder, Travis Boak and Chad Wingard - trained together for the first time at Richmond Oval on Thursday afternoon.

For several of the players, it was also the first time they had used the round ball, while others had to reacquaint themselves after playing in the most recent Test in 2015.

Australian assistant coach Ross Lyon was confident the players would be able to quickly get into the swing of things with only three days to prepare before facing the Irish.

"We have some players that have represented the country before, so we'll group the players who are new to the concept with some of the experienced guys and talk about things that have worked for us," Lyon said.

"We'll have a rules meeting tomorrow, we'll just go through it clearly before our main session.

"They're not that complicated, really.

"The players are high level performers and we're confident they can adapt."

The players got through a light one-hour session before they have their main training session on Friday.

It's Lyon's second time with the Australian squad after the Fremantle coach was an assistant to Alastair Clarkson in 2015.

This time, it's Geelong coach Chris Scott who is taking in charge, with his brother Brad and Lyon as his second in charge.

"We're here to perform well," Lyon said.

"There's a lot that's been invested.

"I was here when Alastair was coaching and with (AFL chief executive) Gillon McLachlan and the AFL, got the series up and really gave it some integrity again and got the best players in Australia.

"If you look at this squad, it's elite.

"The Irish take it seriously. We take it seriously.

"We want to come together and enjoy the experience."

The Australian squad are unable to train at Adelaide Oval, which is being used for a cricket tour match between England and a Cricket Australia XI that finishes on Saturday night.

Lyon didn't expect the ground to have any problems for the IRS opener on Sunday.

"We certainly back in our officials to provide a safe playing environment and grounds come to hand very quickly, so I would think it's a non-issue," he said. 

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