Shane McGrath insists he would never have been made Tipperary captain had they not removed the county champions rule.
It’s three seasons since the responsibility of picking a captain was switched to senior county management.
Last month, Limerick recently followed suit, leaving Kerry as the only county in Munster to abide by the rule, and McGrath is grateful for the change in Tipperary.
“Eamonn [O’Shea] told me the news on Saturday evening. He called me aside and I was taken aback at first. I didn’t expect it.
“It’s a huge honour for me and for my club Ballinahinch. We mightn’t be senior champions any time soon so it was a massive thing for me and I’m delighted.”
McGrath, who will also captain Munster against Connacht in Sunday week’s Interprovincial final, leads out Tipperary against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.
After two mediocre league campaigns in 2011 and ’12, there is a determination in the camp to perform better this season.
“The management can make it a priority but it’s down to the players how much we want it.
“There are a lot of lads on that panel like Paudie Maher who don’t have a National League medal and I know they’re busting to get one.
“I’d love to get another one [he won a medal in 2008] and when you get a good run in the league it can pick up things.
“I think it’s a great idea by the GAA to bring back in the semi-finals. It gives a Championship feel to it, the knock-out thing. That’s the best preparation for Limerick in the championship.”
McGrath and his team-mates are keen to turn over a new leaf although he points out Tipperary’s 2012 wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be.
“Everybody was pinning our season last year on what happened in the last 20 minutes against Kilkenny. Everyone forgets the Munster final. That’s just the way it is but we’ve moved on and we’re really looking forward to 2013 and the challenge ahead.”
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