Three debutants for Waterford

Three debutants for Waterford

Under-21 players Paudie Prendergast, Jamie Barron and Jake Dillon will make their senior Championship debuts for Waterford against Clare in Sunday's Munster SHC quarter-final at Semple Stadium (throw-in 4pm).

There is a fresh look to Michael Ryan's team selection with only five players retained from the team that beat the Banner men 2-17 to 1-18 in last year's Munster Championship. Liam Lawlor, Michael 'Brick' Walsh, Kevin Moran, Maurice Shanahan and Seamus Prendergast complete the quintet.

Fourmilewater clubman Barron and Dillon from De La Salle both feature in the Déise's full-forward line, while Lismore's Paudie Prendergast will line out at left wing back.

The Waterford defence is also boosted by the return of Noel Connors in the left corner. The 2010 All-Star corner back, who recently turned 23, is back to full fitness after time out with torn ankle ligaments.

Ryan's list of absentees includes the retired John Mullane, Philip Mahony, who is currently away travelling, and former captain Stephen Molumphy who is on a tour of duty with the Irish Army and unable to commit to hurling this season.

In addition, the injured Stephen Daniels (broken kneecap), Brian O'Halloran (ankle) and hamstring injury victims Shane Walsh and Shane Fives are unavailable for the Championship opener in Thurles.

Speaking ahead of the game, Waterford boss Ryan said: "As I said when John Mullane retired, we are not going to find another fella like him around the corner. Everybody else has got to find an extra 10%.

"If we can in some way compensate for him – we can never fully compensate for him – then it might actually help fellas come out of their shell when they realise John isn't there now to bail them out.

"Somebody else will have to do it now and that means everybody has got to step up to the plate. Our emphasis has been on everybody stepping up to the plate."

He added: "The minute we heard we didn't have them (the players who are unavailable) we had to get on with it. We blooded a lot of fellas (during the league campaign).

"What I am happy about is that every fella that will play for us in the Championship this year will have been well and truly blooded in the league. That was a great experience for all the young players."

WATERFORD (SHC v Clare): Ian O'Regan; Darragh Fives, Liam Lawlor, Noel Connors; Jamie Nagle, Michael Walsh, Paudie Prendergast; Shane O'Sullivan, Kevin Moran (capt); Maurice Shanahan, Seamus Prendergast, Brian O'Halloran; Jamie Barron, Pauric Mahony, Jake Dillon.

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