WATCH: John Kiely insists Limerick 'don't feel like All-Ireland champions right now'

Jerome O'Connell & Donn O'Sullivan

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Jerome O'Connell & Donn O'Sullivan

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sport@limerickleader.ie

LIMERICK are leaving nothing to chance ahead of Saturday's All-Ireland SHC semi final with Kilkenny vows manager John Kiely.

His side are "willing to do everything we can" to reach the August 18 final against Wexford or Tipperary according to the manager at this Tuesday's Limerick hurling media event ahead of Saturday's Croke Park tie with The Cats.

"We are a very competitive bunch of people and very driven in what we want to achieve and where else would you want to be but in an All-Ireland semi final on Saturday evening with Kilkenny to play," outlined Kiely.

He added: "It's a huge huge challenge".

As All-Ireland champions Limerick carry the favourites tag into the semi final but Kiely is not interested in talk of defending a title.

"To be honest, we don't feel like we All-Ireland champions right now because that was last year - this is this year and it's the All-Ireland series and it's down to the semi finals and all that we are concerned about is to be in that All-Ireland final," he said.

Limerick have been out of competitive action since the Munster title win over Tippeary but the manager is confident of his side's preparations.

"Everybody is putting their best foot forward and working extremely hard and nothing less you would expect of the players - it means a awful lot to them to make the matchday 26 and the eventual 15. We could not have asked of anything more of the players over the period of time we have worked with them," explained the manager.

"They have never but responded in the most positive way possible and worked as hard as they possibly could - as a manager or anybody working with a group, we can't ask any more than that."