Monday 19 August 2019

'What's the big gain by not having Carlow?' - Cody throws weight behind expanding Leinster hurling series to six


Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Brian Cody has added his weight to the support of an expansion of the Leinster SHC round-robin series to six teams.

Having watched Carlow perform with credit in this year's round-robin series, the Kilkenny boss feels there is nothing to be gained by the Barrowsiders going back down to the Joe McDonagh Cup for 2020.

The 11-time All-Ireland-winning manager believes that every avenue to promote hurling counties outside of the top tier should be explored, starting with a change to the provincial series which would give the likes of Carlow and Laois greater exposure at that level.

"I would have thought before this year, before Laois made everybody stand up and realise the quality that they have, Carlow were up for it this year in the Leinster Championship and being put down straight away can't be helpful for their progress," Cody said.

"What would really stand to them is to be there again next year. Then Laois obviously come along and win the McDonagh. I'm very acutely aware of the potential that has been in Laois.

"They're in the Leinster Championship next year but Carlow are not and that's a shame because Carlow played some terrific hurling this year as well. Why not, like? What's the big gain by not having Carlow there?" he added.

"As things stand right now, certainly I think it would be only good (to expand Leinster to six teams). Everybody talks about promoting the game and everything else and good for this and good for that but giving a team an opportunity to play for one year… I haven't listened to the pros and cons. But should we do everything possible to promote hurling in the counties that are serious about hurling? Of course we should."

Cody also provided an injury update ahead of their All-Ireland SHC semi-final withLimerick next Saturday and revealed that he has a full deck to choose from with prodigious forward Adrian Mullen expected to take his place from the start despite missing out on their U-20 Leinster triumph earlier this week with a leg injury.

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"Adrian picked up a knock, a quad injury. It's not serious enough to keep him out of the Limerick match, he did some light running last night with ourselves but he wasn't fit to play that game on Wednesday night," Cody said.

"It was just getting tighter and tighter as the game (v Cork) went on and after the game then there was a slight grade one quad injury. Essentially, he won't be on the pitch with ourselves tomorrow either, that's the reality. Is he a doubt? He's not a doubt for the semi-final."

Meanwhile, Mayo boss James Horan has shuffled the deck for tomorrow's Super 8s clash with Meath in Croke Park as Seamus O'Shea makes his first start of the summer. Eoin O'Donoghue and Ciaran Treacy also get the nod against the Royals with Chris Barrett, Kevin McLoughlin and James Carr losing out for a game which they must win.

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