International Cup finals on the big stage
The AFL has confirmed that the 2017 AFL International Cup men’s and women’s grand finals will be played as curtain-raisers to Round 22 AFL matches.
The men’s grand final will be played prior to the Collingwood-Geelong Cats match at the MCG while the women’s grand final will be prior to the Carlton-Hawthorn match at Etihad Stadium.
The Canadian women's side – the Northern Lights – will head to the tournament as reigning champions and hopeful for another title.
The Lights defeated Ireland at Punt Road Oval, but this will be their first opportunity to play at an AFL ground.
Canada's men's side – the Northwind – had their highest finish during the 2014 International Cup, finishing fifth, and will be hopeful to go further for a potential MCG performance.
AFL Head of Community & International Development Grant Williams said playing both grand finals at AFL venues would give greater exposure to the competition.
“We are so pleased to have secured both the MCG and Etihad Stadium to conclude this year’s International Cup,” he said.
“Planning is in full-swing at AFL House and amongst the international football community.
“We anticipate the fixtures will be released in early July.”
The sixth International Cup will be held in Melbourne from August 5-19, 2017. The carnival will include both men’s and women’s competitions.