Kilkenny and Galway hurlers gear up for Wild Geese clash in Sydney
Some of the most iconic names in hurling will be involved in the battle for the Wild Geese Trophy that sees the hurlers of Kilkenny and Galway clash in the Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Australia on November 11.
Team managers Brian Cody and Micheál Donoghue have assembled strong travelling squads headlined by big names like Cillian Buckley, Eoin Murphy and Walter Walsh for the Cats and Joe Canning, Pádraic Mannion and Conor Whelan for the Tribesmen.
Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley and Galway’s Padraic Mannion attended a special event alongside GAA Uachtarán John Horan which was hosted by Mr Richard Andrews, Australia’s Ambassador to Ireland at their embassy in Dublin today to mark the visit.
The squads depart next week for a match that is the meeting of the Allianz hurling league champions of the last two seasons and is a key feature in a weekend celebration of Irish culture that is the Bulmers Sydney Irish Festival.
It is also a repeat of the 2018 Leinster final which Galway won after a replay in Thurles last July.
This will be the first major inter-county hurling match to be played in Australia and the game will be shown live on TV via Fox Sports while it will also be broadcast in Ireland by RTE.
Uachtarán CLG John Horan said: “Since the 1980s we have been able to showcase our best Gaelic footballers in Australia via the Compromise and International Rules games.
“Now with the Wild Geese Trophy we have an opportunity to bring some of the very best hurlers that we have in the game across to Australia and show people the exciting and unique sport that it is.
“Australian people, much like the Irish, are passionate about and appreciate sport and we believe they will enjoy the spectacle. It’s also a chance to bring a piece of home to the many thousands of Irish who are in Sydney and New South Wales and acknowledge the excellent work that is being done by our Australasia Board at promoting Gaelic games across Australia and New Zealand.”
A programme of events on the Saturday will feature displays of Irish food and drink and also music with Mary Black and Damien Dempsey headlining.
A specially commissioned Wild Geese Trophy will be awarded to the winners of the hurling match and features a pair of gold wings around a silver sliotar. The game will be refereed by Wexford’s James Owens with Fergal Horgan and Paud O'Dwyer the linesmen.
The Bulmers Sydney Irish Festival is also supported by Allianz, O’Neills and PJ O’Briens.