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AFL's ambitious plan for international rules could include a game in Philadelphia

The AFL is determined to play a game of international rules against the Irish in a country other than Ireland or Australia. Philadelphia is the latest city to be touted as a possible location.

The AFL is considering playing an international rules game against Ireland in Philadelphia as it continues to explore options to take the game to the US. 

Australia raised the prospect with the Irish ahead of Sunday's game and Ireland is receptive to the idea of playing a test in America if a suitable venue can be found. 

Ireland's Chris Barrett of Ireland is tackled by Scott Pendlebury in Adelaide last Sunday. Photo: Ray McManus/Getty Images

In 2015, the Australian international rules team trained in New York in preparation for its one-off Test against Ireland, spending time at the New York Jets' training facility and discussing the idea of playing a game in the Big Apple with the Australian Consul-General in New York at the time, Nick Minchin.

The AFL confirmed to Fairfax Media on Wednesday it was exploring a range of overseas options for future international rules series matches, including New York and Philadelphia. 

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy also told the Irish media a potential venue for an international rules game has been identified at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, however the Irish are yet to assess its suitability.

Ireland will host the next two-Test series but details about when and where the series is played is still open for discussion, with the possibility remaining that one game could be played in Ireland and another in a neutral country. 

Meanwhile, North Melbourne midfielder Shaun Higgins received a late call-up on Wednesday to play for Australia in the international rules series after selectors confirmed that Collingwood midfielder Scott Pendlebury and Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder would not play in the second Test.

Pendlebury injured his finger while Ryder was scheduled to miss the second Test but the Australians could include Joel Selwood as he missed the first Test with a sore ankle. 

The Australians won the first Test played in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon by 10 points and will look to retain that aggregate lead when they take on the Irish in Perth on Saturday. 

Ireland has also lost Gold Coast midfielder Pearce Hanley, who broke his hand in the opening Test. 

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