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Leahy questions Tipp desire

TIPPERARY'S two-time All-Ireland SHC medallist and former selector John Leahy claims that some of the county's current senior team players are not mentally strong enough to compete consistently for the game's major prizes.

Leahy has waded into the debate raging in the Premier County following last Sunday's Allianz NHL Division 1 semi-final against Cork.

And the Mullinahone native, who served as a selector alongside former Tipp boss Michael 'Babs' Keating, lamented a lack of leadership in Declan Ryan's team last Sunday.

Leahy expressed his view that All Star corner-back Michael Cahill "wasn't up to the pace of the game" and believes that another former All Star, Shane McGrath, should be asking himself "why he isn't on the team".

"From a Tipp point of view it was disappointing that when push came to shove, we didn't seem to want it enough," Leahy said. "At times you can do nothing about the result, but it was the performance... are they mentally prepared? I thought Cork were more mentally prepared.

"On a positive, I thought Brian O'Meara had a good game, Pa (Bourke) came into his own in the last couple of games, Gearoid Ryan played well and Conor (O'Mahony) is playing okay at centre-back for us as well.

"After all the managers I've played under, it all comes back to oneself and mentally preparing yourself for an occasion.

"We heard rumblings that there were meetings and things addressed, but we slipped back into the same frame of mind and that's a concern. Declan will be concerned about his 15 for May 27 (when Tipperary play Limerick in the Munster SHC quarter-final). That's the biggest problem we have."

Irish Independent