'Limerick not in top three and won't win All-Ireland' - Kilkenny legend Jackie Tyrrell stokes the fires
Kilkenny legend Jackie Tyrrell has stoked the fires ahead of the Cats' mouth-watering Allianz HL Division 1A clash with Limerick tomorrow (2.0) by claiming that the All-Ireland champions are not in the top three in the country.
The nine-time All-Ireland winner also feels that Brian Cody's side don't warrant a place among the elite just yet as the Kilkenny boss builds a new team.
"I don't see them (Limerick) in the top three. I think you have Clare, Galway and Tipperary - I don't see Kilkenny or Limerick in that bracket at the minute. I don't have them in there," Tyrrell said.
"John Kiely will be sitting at home rubbing his hands together when he hears that! But honestly, I don't think anyone is as far on as Clare are at the minute and until the league throws up more, I wouldn't have Limerick or Kilkenny in there."
Tyrrell also offered a word of caution to the Treaty about going too well at this early stage of the season.
"I wouldn't be really getting too carried away by Limerick just yet. It's a long year. I don't see them winning the All-Ireland this year, I really don't. They're nearly going too well for me now. I would be wrapping some of those lads in cotton wool," added Tyrrell.
Cody welcomes Walter Walsh back into his side for their Nowlan Park clash with Conor Delaney parachuted into full-back as Huw Lawlor is not named on the match-day squad, while Kiely has recalled many of his big guns.
Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch returns along with Young Hurler of the Year Kyle Hayes, while Paddy O'Loughlin gets a chance to impress in defence and last year's 'supersub' Shane Dowling and Barry Murphy are handed starting berths in attack.
Cork have a strong hand for tonight's 1A tie with Clare in Páirc Uí Rinn (7.15) with captain Seamus Harnedy and Conor Lehane bolstering their attack, while captain Tony Kelly returns from suspension to lead the Banner.
Elsewhere, the €7m redevelopment of Walsh Park in Waterford has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanála. Last year, Waterford City and Council granted planning permission for the project but An Bord Pleanála received two submissions regarding traffic management issues.
The planning board have given the go-ahead for the project with some standard conditions attached to the ruling. The refurbishment will see it become a 15,500-capacity stadium. It can currently hold just 8,000 fans.