Saturday 24 February 2018

Galway happy to be facing fully-loaded Waterford

Noel Larkin: “Austin Gleeson is the current Hurler of the Year and everybody in the country wants to see him playing in the All-Ireland final and hopefully that’s the case.” Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Noel Larkin: “Austin Gleeson is the current Hurler of the Year and everybody in the country wants to see him playing in the All-Ireland final and hopefully that’s the case.” Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway's players and management were singing from the same hymn sheet when they stated they would prefer to face a fully-loaded Waterford in next month's All-Ireland SHC final.

Before news that Déise star Austin Gleeson would be cleared to play in the September 3 showpiece, manager Micheál Donoghue, captain David Burke and selector Noel Larkin all stated a preference for Waterford to have their best players available, with Larkin insisting the final would be a "better place" with the Mount Sion man involved.

"Austin Gleeson is the current Hurler of the Year and everybody in the country wants to see him playing in the All-Ireland final and hopefully that's the case," Larkin said at the Tribesmen's pre-All-Ireland final press briefing in he Loughrea Hotel yesterday morning.

Extraordinary "We all go to see players like that. We saw him last year doing extraordinary things and I think the final would be a better place if Austin makes it." 

Donoghue insisted he wanted to see all the "big players" on the final day, while captain Burke called on the GAA to examine the rule that calls for a straight red card for interference with helmets or faceguards.

"I haven't read the wording of the rule," said the Tribe skipper.

"There are a lot of referees coming out saying they don't agree with the rule. The GAA need to look at it and put an end to it, really, and sort it out because people are talking about the wording in the ruling. It is affecting players.

"The fact that it has happened in the last few games, the rule is being more talked about. But all we can control is our performance."

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