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Power: Cats hit hard 'like everybody else'

HE IS involved in a new local hurling tourism initiative of the same name but Richie Power says there's nothing wrong with 'The Kilkenny Way'.

It has been alleged that the Cats have been responsible for changing the nature of the national game recently by bringing an ultra-physical dimension to it but Power insisted they are doing nothing unusual.

"That's other people's opinions and they're entitled to them but I don't see any change that we've made since I joined the panel in 2005," the Carrickshock star said.

"There has been no change in the way we've trained, there has been no change in the way matches are played in training. The physicality is there but, at the end of the day, that's the way hurling has gone," he insisted.

"You've seen it this year and last year, that every team is trying to become more physical and guys have become bigger and bigger," he added. "That Dublin team (size) this year was amazing.

"Guys have spent so much time in the gym and have really bulked up, and that's the way hurling is going. We're just trying to stay up there with these guys.

"We do our gym programme with Michael Dempsey and do as much as anybody else does but I definitely don't think Kilkenny have changed hurling.

"Look, we have been successful, but we try and do what everybody else is doing and, if anything, try and do a little bit more to keep ahead of them."

Power also insists that revenge for their Leinster final defeat will not be Kilkenny's prime motivation in Sunday's final.

"I know a lot of people will hype it up as revenge and whatever but we're not looking at it that way," he stressed. "This is winner takes all. There are no back doors, no nothing. Galway won the Leinster final, we won the league title but there is no revenge mission with it.

"We're just trying to get ourselves right for 70 minutes and at the end of the day we'll hopefully be All-Ireland champions."

Richie's dad, Richie Snr, was also a Kilkenny star and father and son are involved in 'The Kilkenny Way' hurling tourism initiative that was set up on Noreside this year.

A local businessman, who believes that Kilkenny should be building a business and tourism outlet on its great hurling heritage, put the venture together and recruited the Powers to help with the coaching end of it.

"I've had very little involvement in it so far, my dad is primarily involved," Power said.

"But hurling is the national sport and the fact that Kilkenny have been successful in it over the last number of years, there probably is that association there and it's great if it can attract tourists to come."

Irish Independent