Cats' board confirm Tennyson retirement

The Kilkenny County Board have confirmed that John Tennyson has decided to retire from senior inter-county hurling.

A hamstring injury blighted his 2013 season and the 28-year-old defender has opted to bow out, leaving the top level of the game with six All-Ireland SHC medals, six Leinster SHC medals and five National League titles.

The two-time All-Star nominee also had a stellar underage career, winning two All-Ireland Under-21 and two All-Ireland Minor Championships with Kilkenny and an All-Ireland Colleges crown with St. Kieran's.

Tennyson, a senior debutant for the Cats back in 2005, made a memorable breakthrough the following season as he made the centre-back role his own during Kilkenny's 2006 All-Ireland winning run.

He was also an All-Ireland Under-21 winner that year but a cruciate knee ligament injury, the first of two that sidelined him for considerable time during his career, meant that he only featured as a substitute in the 2007 Championship - coming off the bench in the final victory over Limerick.

He was back as a starter in the Kilkenny defence for their 2009 All-Ireland success, lining out at left half-back, and although a second cruciate injury followed in 2010 he recovered to start at centre-back in the 2010 All-Ireland final defeat to Tipperary.

That turned out to be his penultimate Championship appearance for Brian Cody's men, his final one coming as a late substitute in the 2-21 to 0-9 Leinster semi-final win over Dublin last June.

Speaking about his decision to retire, the Carrickshock clubman told the Irish Examiner: "It's disappointing but that's the way it goes, I didn't feel that I was in competition for a starting place.

"My time is up and it's a good time to go, I'm hoping that I can free up more time to give to the club. I spoke with the management at the start of this week and told them, they wished me the best and I wished them the best."

A statement from Kilkenny GAA confirmed: "John will continue to play with his club Carrickshock and Kilkenny GAA would like to thank John for his outstanding contribution to Kilkenny hurling and wish him all the very best for the future."

Meanwhile, Brian Cody was back at the managerial helm of the Kilkenny senior hurlers yesterday when he trained them for the first time in almost two months.

Cody underwent heart surgery in Dublin in early April and surprised the players when taking charge of yesterday's training session at Nowlan Park, with none of the panel told beforehand that he would be there. The Cats open their Championship campaign against Offaly in Tullamore on Sunday, June 9.

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