Saturday 24 March 2018

Great news for Tipp fans as Noel McGrath back in starting XV for National League opener

Tipperary’s Noel McGrath
Tipperary’s Noel McGrath Newsdesk Newsdesk

Noel McGrath has been selected in the Tipperary team to face Dublin in the National Hurling League opener at Semple Stadium this Saturday.

The Loughmore-Castleiney battled back from cancer to appear as a substitute in the Premier County’s one-point defeat to Galway in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final and admitted earlier this week that he is “mad for games”.

He has been chosen at corner forward, with younger brother John in the other corner.

Debuts have been handed to midfielder Daire Quinn and Borris-Ileigh’s Dan McCormack at wing-forward.

The team – which features Noel McGrath at corner-forward – contains seven of the team that started last year’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway.

This week McGrath admitted he was itching to get going this year.

"It's hard to know," he said when asked if he was back to his old self.

"I did miss a lot of last year, a lot of tough training. I'm still trying to build myself back to full fitness and to (try) fit in with the team again. So it's hard to know.

"I'd like to think I'm back up to speed with the rest of them, but time will tell.

"I'm just looking forward to the challenge ahead, having missed nearly all of last year.

"I'm mad for games, and will be pushing myself as hard as I can to make the 26 for match day, and everyone is in the same boat."

Tipperary team v Dublin

D Gleeson; C Barrett, T Hamill, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, Pádraic Maher; M Breen, D Quinn; D McCormack, Patrick Maher, J Forde; N McGrath, C Kenny, J McGrath.

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