TJ Ryan’s Limerick senior hurlers will be short a number of regulars when they begin their 2015 season this Saturday (2.00).
Limerick play Waterford in the quarter-final of the Waterford Crystal Cup in Kilmallock with the prize for the winner a semi-final spot in the early season provincial competition against Kerry or UCC.
For Saturday Limerick will have to plan without their four strong Kilmallock contingent - Gavin O’Mahony, Paudie O’Brien, Graeme Mulcahy and Barry Hennessy - as they continue preparations for their February 7 All Ireland club SHC semi-final.
Also missing on Saturday will be a quartet of college-tied players - Declan Hannon, Aaron Murphy, David Reidy and Seanie O’Brien.
On the injured list at present is Seanie Tobin, meaing that Limerick’s management will be selecting from a maximum of 23-players for the tie.
Saturday’s game comes just four weeks ahead of the key opening National Hurling League tie between the same counties in the Gaelic Grounds.
TJ Ryan and selectors Paul Beary, Mark Lyons and Davy Clarke could use Saturday afternoon’s game to gives competitive seniors debuts to Pat Begley, Cian Lynch and Tom Morrissey - the only three members of their 32-man panel not to have previous senior inter-county experience. The trio have been involved in recent challenge games against Wexford, Cork and last Saturday against Dublin.