Hawthorn’s three-time AFL premiership captain Luke Hodge will lead the Australian team in the international rules Test against Ireland.
Hodge was confirmed as national captain for the first time at New York on Friday when the 22 Australian players were presented with their jerseys at an official function.
He will lead the team for the one-off Test on November 21 at Dublin’s Croke Park.
“It’s a great honour and I’m lost for words as I thought either Bob Murphy or Nick Riewoldt would be leading us, as great players that I admire,” Hodge said.
“Ireland will be a tough proposition but we are absolutely heading to Dublin with victory as our goal.”
Earlier this week, Hodge was named in a leadership group that also features his teammate Sam Mitchell, Riewoldt, Murphy and Geelong’s Harry Taylor.
Riewoldt is St Kilda’s long-time captain, while Murphy was named the All-Australian captain this year after his outstanding season leading the Western Bulldogs.
Australian coach Alastair Clarkson, who also coaches Hodge at Hawthorn, and assistants Ross Lyon and Chris Scott decided on the captaincy.
Hodge, a four-time Hawthorn premiership star and two-time Norm Smith Medallist, won the Jim Stynes Medal last year as Australia’s best player as they beat Ireland in Perth.
He previously played international rules in 2005.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell presented the Australian team jerseys at New Corp’s international headquarters in New York.