Ryan rolls out Tipp big guns as 'Bonner' and Callanan recalled
Tipperary boss Michael Ryan has recalled several big guns to a much-changed side ahead of their titanic Munster SHC clash with Cork in Semple Stadium tomorrow (2.0).
Brendan Maher, Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and Seamus Callanan start while Michael Cahill, Seán O'Brien and Joe O'Dwyer come into the defence as Ryan makes six Premier changes from their defeat to Limerick.
Seamus Kennedy continues at full-back while All-Star centre-back Ronan Maher reverts to No 6 and captain Pádraic Maher switches to his more familiar role on the left wing.
John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer is the most high-profile casualty as Michael Breen drops off the match-day squad with Ryan going for broke against the Rebels, who make one enforced change with John Meyler drafting in Shane Kingston for the injured Robbie O'Flynn.
Waterford manager Derek McGrath has named a new-look attack with Tom Devine, Maurice Shanahan and Shane McNulty starting against Clare as 2016 Hurler of the Year Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony are both ruled out.
Elsewhere, Brian Cody has welcomed All-Star attacker Walter Walsh, James Maher and Enda Morrissey back into Kilkenny's starting 15 for tomorrow's eagerly-anticipated Leinster SHC clash with Galway.
The 11-time All-Ireland-winning manager names a strong side with Richie Hogan also making the squad for the first time this year having recovered from injury and the Danesfort dynamo could be an option off the bench.
Kilkenny head for Pearse Stadium for a historic hurling occasion knowing that if results go their way this weekend, they will book a place in the Leinster final ahead of their final round robin clash with Wexford on June 9.
The first Leinster Championship game played west of the Shannon is one of several glamour fixtures with overall attendances expected to exceed the 130,000 mark.
A win over the Tribesmen and an Offaly victory over Wexford in Tullamore this evening (7.0) would guarantee Kilkenny, who have already beaten Dublin and Offaly, a place in the final. This will be Galway’s second game, having already beaten Offaly in the first round.
Defeat for Offaly would leave them needing to beat Dublin in their final game to have any hope of avoiding dropping out of the Leinster Championship and into the Joe McDonagh Cup competition next year.
In football, Dublin’s quest for the All-Ireland four-in-a-row begins against Wicklow in Portlaoise tomorrow as Jim Gavin’s men take their first step to a possible eighth provincial title in a row.
John Evans’ Garden County side will have to defy their 33/1 outsiders’ tag as well as history – they have never beaten Dublin in 30 championship or league meetings – if they are to cause one of the biggest shocks in GAA history.
The 16 counties heading for Round 1 of the football qualifiers (June 9) will be finalised this weekend, with the draw taking place on the ‘Morning Ireland’ programme on RTé radio on Monday morning (8.35 approx).
Those involved are: Mayo, London, Tyrone, Cavan, Armagh, Louth, Wexford, Offaly, Limerick, Waterford, Dublin or Wicklow, Laois or Westmeath, Carlow or Kildare, Longford or Meath, Derry or Donegal, Antrim or Down.
Meanwhile, there’s no place for the injured John Heslin in Westmeath’s starting 15 for their Leinster SFC meeting with Laois this evening (5,0) in O’Connor Park in what is a huge setback for Lake boss Colin Kelly, who is down several regulars for a variety of different reasons.
Another side down several regulars are the Tipp footballers as Liam Kearns looks to guide the Premier to another famous win over Munster rivals Cork in Semple Stadium this evening (7.0).
Kearns names an unchanged side for their Munster semi-final, which means there’s no starting berth for key forward Conor Sweeney or midfield powerhouse Steven O’Brien, although both are likely to feature at some stage.