RTE rejects claims Wallace contacted pundits

Frank Roche

RTE has rejected claims by Antrim hurling manager Jerry Wallace that its 'Sunday Game' pundits were contacted by Wallace with a view to downplaying an incident that saw one of his players sent to the stand against Westmeath.

In the latest twist to a bizarre controversy prompted by Wallace's claims earlier this week, the national broadcaster stated: "RTÉ can confirm that none of The Sunday Game panellists on the programme featuring Antrim v Westmeath on the weekend of May 19/20 received any contact from Antrim senior hurling manager Jerry Wallace.

"In addition, none of the RTÉ Sport crew were approached regarding the footage from the game by Jerry Wallace, as alleged.

"RTÉ is not aware of any county in the past contacting The Sunday Game panellists in an attempt to influence their opinions on our programming. Our editorial independence is of the utmost importance to us right across our sports coverage."

Aidan Walsh's spring sojourn at full-forward looks to be over, presuming Cork supremo Conor Counihan isn't indulging in mind games ahead of Sunday's Munster semi-final against arch rivals Kerry.

Walsh has been named in his old midfield stomping ground in a team unchanged from Cork's league winning '15', and the resultant reshuffle sees Donncha O'Connor revert to full-forward and Pearse O'Neill to centre-forward.

Wexford have made one change for their O'Connor Park replay with unchanged Longford, Paddy Byrne replacing Conor Carty in the half-forwards. Ciaran Lyng is included, contrary to speculation that a groin injury could scupper his involvement. Captain David Murphy, hospitalised in the lead-up to the drawn match with blood poisoning, is not listed in the panel of 26.

Tyrone have made a whopping six changes from the team that lost the NFL Division Two final to Kildare for Sunday's Ulster SFC showdown with Armagh. There are recalls for 'keeper Pascal McConnell, defenders Justin McMahon, Dermot Carlin and Sean O'Neill, Joe McMahon at midfield and Martin Penrose up front.