It’s been a busy few months for our National University League players. From representing their countries and winning international honours at the 2019 Euro Cup and European Championships, to earning individual honours for senior club sides
Today, AFL England and AFL Ireland are proud to announce the return of the international fixture between the NUL All-Stars and the Irish Universities side to the European Australian football calendar.
This one-of-a-kind fixture will take place in London on Saturday 18th April. The weekend will feature both men’s and women’s 18-a-side matches with a venue yet to be confirmed.
AFL England President William Shillibier praised the return of the one-of-a-kind fixture
“Last year’s All-Star International was the first of its kind anywhere in the world and showcased the emerging talent in the University game across England, Ireland and Wales.
“Halfway through the 2020 NUL season, I’m sure this announcement will spur on those players eyeing up spots in the squad for this year’s matches!”
Women’s: Irish Universities 15.14 (104) vs NUL All-Stars 0.1 (1)
Men’s: Irish Universities 11.13 (79) def. by NUL All-Stars 13.4 (82)
The first-ever International University Test Matches took place last April as almost 50 players travelled to Dublin from university teams across England and Wales.
Players were for the NUL All-Stars based predominantly on the best and fairest votes awarded during the 2018/19 season.
The calibre of players was such that both the men’s and women’s best and fairest from the inaugural NUL season were named, as well as a host of other players who have since gone on to achieve success both for club and country:
Notable 2019 NUL All-Stars
- Ben Doherty: Men’s NUL Best & Fairest; Men’s NUL Leading Goalkicker
- Theo Wrigley: Men’s NUL Best & Fairest runner-up
- Tim Haskett: Men’s NUL Leading Goalkicker runner-up
- Lottie Colquhoun: Women’s NUL Best & Fairest; Great Britain Swan European Championship squad
- Stephanie Filbay: 2019 AFL London Women’s Best & Fairest; Women’s NUL Best & Fairest runner-up
- Pauline O’Malley: Women’s NUL Leading Goalkicker
- Sam Walon (pictured below): Great Britain Bulldog European Championship Winner
- Martha Williams, Jen Taylor, Jenny Green, Nicole Hagan, Carissa Turner: Great Britain Swan European Championship squad
Irish Warriors Head Coach Brian Currane, who is heavily involved in the Irish university setup, praised the return of the fixture.
“Last April we saw a massive performance from our Irish Universities Men’s Team, with all students thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to represent their country and pull on the Irish Uni’s Guernsey, something everyone to a man considered a massive honour and achievement and this alone proved the success of the game and the need for this fixture to become an annual event going forward.”
Irish Banshees Head Coach Michael Currane added that he hoped the 2020 instalment of the fixture will be just as successful as last year’s.
“The Universities International was a huge highlight in 2019 and an incredibly successful event. A huge amount of work went into making the game happen on both sides of the Irish Sea and it was more than worth it. It was amazing to see the skill level, intensity and enthusiasm from the players across both teams and indeed both games.
“We cannot wait for this year’s game in London and we look forward to working with William and the team at AFL England and the National University League to deliver another successful event and I look forward to the Universities International Cup becoming a set fixture in the calendar on an annual basis going forward”
For more details about the National University League, head to the official Facebook page.