THE 2010 Young Hurler of the Year, Brendan Maher, has been left on the bench as Tipperary seek to inflict more September torment on Kilkenny in this Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final.
The All Star midfielder has endured a frustrating season since fracturing his ankle in a freak accident at home last March.
But following his half-time appearance in the sem-final against Dublin, when he replaced Seamus Callanan, the presumption was that the Borris-Ileigh clubman would make his first summer start of 2011 in the final itself.
Either wing-back John O’Keeffe or half-forward Callanan was viewed as the most likely fall-guy.
But instead the management team has kept faith with the same line-up. The only minor tinkering sees Callanan – who was in red-hot Munster form before his semi-final travails – named at No 10 with Noel McGrath now at centre-forward.
Brian Cody is set to persist with his usual policy of deferring Kilkenny’s team announcement until the Friday night.
TIPPERARY (SH v Kilkenny): B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; J O’Keeffe, C O’Mahony, P Maher; G Ryan, S McGrath; S Callanan, N McGrath, P Maher; E Kelly, J O’Brien, L Corbett.