Corbett talk raises hopes of a comeback

Conor McKeon

LAR CORBETT has made his first tentative noises about a possible return to the Tipperary hurling panel although he was suitably vague about the timeline for such a comeback.

Speaking in New York, where he and current Tipp captain, Eoin Kelly, paid a visit to Matthew Macklin ahead of his St Patrick's Day fight with Sergio Martinez, the 2010 Hurler of the Year explained: "At the minute I have made my decision and that's just the way it is."

However, he added: "There is no door closing and I have a good relationship with Declan (Ryan) and Tommy Dunne and Mikey Gleeson. It would be very difficult to give it 100 per cent."

Kelly, who came on as a substitute in the Premier County's disappointing Allianz League Division 1 opener against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park at the weekend, reiterated his belief that Corbett would be welcomed back into the fold.

"The door is wide open and that is the one happy thing to come out of it." However, he continued: "The training has stepped up for inter-county GAA players. Lads can't commit to it."

LEINSTER hurling manager Joe Dooley has named an unchanged side for Sunday's M Donnelly Interprovincial final with Connacht.

The side contains two Dubs - All Star goalkeeper, Gary Maguire and Ryan O'Dwyer at full-forward - while Niall Corcoran, Shane Durkin and Paul Ryan has all been named on the bench.

In total, there are 11 Kilkenny players in the starting 15, including their entire starting defence (minus goalkeeper) and midfield pairing from last September's All-Ireland final, the two Dubs and one Offaly man, Shane Dooley, in the starting 15.

There are, however, injury concerns over JJ Delaney and Richie Hogan - both of whom were substituted in Sunday's National Hurling League Division 1A victory over Tipperary in Nowlan Park.

Liam Rushe is replaced on the bench by TJ Reid after the 2011 Young Hurler of the Year was earlier this week ruled out for four to six weeks with a hip injury and will miss Dublin's next three League games against Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

LEINSTER (SH Connacht): G Maguire; P Murphy, N Hickey, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, JJ Delaney; M Rice, M Fennelly; R Power, J Bergin, E Larkin; S Dooley, R O'Dwyer, R Hogan. Subs: D Herrity, D Stamp, N Corcoran, S Durkin, R Hanniffy, C Fennelly, B Murtagh. P Ryal, W Hyland, R Jacob, TJ Reid.