LIMERICK could be set to wait until just before throw-in to confirm their team for Saturday’s make-or-break All Ireland SHC Qualifier with Kilkenny.
Vice captains Diarmaid Byrnes and Gearoid Hegarty both missed the Munster SHC defeat to Clare due to injury and are to be given every opportunity to prove their fitness this week ahead of the Nowlan Park clash with Brian Cody’s side.
Limerick will train again on Thursday evening but John Kiely and his management might wait until Saturday to finalise their line-up for the eagerly awaited backdoor tie, which will be televised live on Sky Sports 3.
William O’Donoghue has been ruled out due to his on-going injury but both Byrnes and Hegarty are back in full training since the June 4 loss to Clare.
Just like Limerick, Kilkenny will be aiming to kick-start their championship after a Leinster SHC defeat to Wexford. Regardless the bookies make ‘The Cats’ hot 2/7 favourites.
Saturday will be Limerick’s first competitive senior game in Kilkenny since a 2009 league game. Current panelists Tom Condon, Seamus Hickey, Gavin O’Mahony, Paul Browne and Graeme Mulcahy played in that game but none of the remaining members of the 31-man Limerick panel have any Nowlan Park experience.
Limerick and Kilkenny last met in the championship semi final of 2014 in Croke Park.
The sides have never met in the All Ireland Qualifiers, although there have been 11 previous championship meetings – Kilkenny winning seven and Limerick four, with the last win the 1973 All Ireland final.