Newcomer Darragh O'Donovan
THERE are two changes to the Limerick hurling team for Saturday’s All Ireland SHC Qualifier with Kilkenny.
Into the team for the Nowlan Park encounter are Darragh O’Donovan and Gearoid Hegarty, replacing captain James Ryan and Graeme Mulcahy.
With Diarmaid Byrnes ruled out by injury, and Ryan among the subs, it looks like Hegarty will captain Limerick into the game against Brian Cody's Cats.
It’s a game that has a 7.00 start and will be televised live on Sky Sports 3.
The Limerick goalkeeper and defence remain unchanged from the side that lost to Clare on June 4 in Thurles.
Paul Browne continues in midfield, now joined by Darragh O’Donovan – the Doon man started last season’s qualifiers against Westmeath and Clare.
In attack, vice-captain Gearoid Hegarty returns from injury and replaces Graeme Mulcahy with a number of positional switches.
Barring any last minutes changes by manager John Kiely, Saturday will be the first Limerick senior hurling team to play championship without a Kilmallock man in the starting line-up since the 2002 All Ireland Qualifier defeat to Cork – a game in which a teenage Andrew O’Shaughnessy made his debut as a substitute.
There are 11 different clubs represented in Saturday’s team – Na Piarsaigh with four and Bruff with two, the only clubs with multiple representatives.
Diarmaid Byrnes insn’t listed among the named substitutions – Ronan Lynch, Aaron Gillane, Stephen Cahill and the long term injured William O’Donoghue the others not among the matchday list of 26.
This Thursday evening, there were over 12,000 tickets sold for the first meeting of Limerick and Kilkenny in Nowlan Park since a 2009 league tie.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid (Effin); Sean Finn (Bruff), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh); Dan Morrissey (Ahane), Declan Hannon (Adare), Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher); Paul Browne (Bruff), Darragh O’Donovan (Doon); David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks); Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry). Subs: Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock), Richie English (Doon), Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock), James Ryan (Garryspillane), Pat Ryan (Doon), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Barry Nash (South Liberties), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry), Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen), Alan Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh).